Prof. Rajanish Dass wins in court but IIM Ahmedabad tries to parse the court’s verdict

Two years ago I had posted, here and here,  about the case of Prof. Rajanish Dass who resigned – under pressure – from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad after being accused of plagiarism. IIM also made a police complaint accusing him of sending offensive e-mails.

But Prof. Dass has fought his case and won in court.

Now Prof. Dass has sent me an e-mail

“….. Previously, allegations of plagiarism had been manufactured against me, which were baseless, frivolous and were without any cogent proof or evidence. In fact, one of these allegations made was on a report, which did not exist at all. The same have been proved baseless over a period of time in the court of law and the inquiry report for these allegations had already been trashed when challenged in the High Court of Gujarat in 2012 (see ….

….. However, I am happy to mention to you that after a rigorous investigation by the Crime Branch Ahmedabad, I have been given a clean chit against the allegations made against me and the honorable Criminal Court has also discharged me with honor (see

  2.… Now IIMA says that the charges of plagiarism were neither proved nor disproved. The question is had there been any legal charges, why did IIMA accept my resignation?).  ….”

India, unlike Scotland, does not have a  “not proven” verdict. If you are “not guilty” you revert to being “innocent”. IIM-A it seems to me are trying to claim that the plagiarism charges are something separate and are neither unproven nor proven though the court has thrown out their charges – now shown to be false – of malicious e-mails. But if plagiarism can not be proven – as IIM-A admits – then what was all the fuss about? If plagiarism is not proven then surely a presumption of innocence applies. 

IIM-A’s response – it seems to me is a trifle disingenuous, since if the plagiarism charges are not proven then there was no cause to force his resignation in the first place. This seems like IIM-A trying to parse the verdict of the court and convert a “not guilty” verdict to be instead “not guilty of this charge but not proven regarding plagiarism”. A mealy-mouthed response, I think.

Is IIM-A really saying that an allegation of plagiarism – which after 2 years is still unproven – was sufficient to force Prof. Dass to resign?

The honourable course for IIM-A – and especially as they cannot prove that any plagiarism took place – is to accept the verdict of the court gracefully and pay Prof. Dass his dues. Reinstatement may not be practical but IIM-A cannot keep accusing him of plagiarism which they are unable to prove.

(In his email Prof. Dass had requested me to remove the previous posts but I don’t think that would be the correct thing to do. He won his court case a few months ago – which I had missed at the time.)

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One Response to “Prof. Rajanish Dass wins in court but IIM Ahmedabad tries to parse the court’s verdict”

  1. Professor at IIM-A resigns | The k2p blog Says:

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