Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is in trouble for a case that has nothing to do with his politics. The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Bihar CM and asked why he should not remain a party in a case of copyright violation. A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman has issued a notice to Nitish Kumar in the case and sought his response on a petition filed by former senior Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) scholar-turned-politician Atul Kumar Singh, CNN News 18 has reported.
Singh then moved the Supreme Court in an appeal against this HC order on April 3. Earlier, Singh had moved the Delhi High Court seeking directions to summon Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as a witness in the case. In his plea, Singh alleged that a book published by Patna-based Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) was a plagiarised version of his research project, ‘Role of State in Economic Transformation: A case Study of Contemporary Bihar’ of 2006. The book was published through ADRI Member Secretary Shaibal Gupta and endorsed by Kumar.
On the other hand, Kumar’s lawyer had strongly opposed summoning as a witness in the lawsuit, contending that he has no connection with the book, ‘Special Category Status: A Case for Bihar’ and other defendants. The high court had dismissed Kumar’s plea to delete his name as a defendant from a lawsuit and imposed a cost of Rs 20,000 on him.
However, Singh in his plea alleged that the “chief minister, in person, has not only violated the authorship of his research work, but on being challenged before the court, conspired with his cohorts to criminalise his life in blatant violation of his rights, in particular his authorship rights.”
“The examination of Nitish Kumar…is necessary in order to bring on record further evidence with regard to the violation to the authorship and authorship rights of the literary work, titled as ‘Special Category Status: A Case for Bihar’, in which Bihar Chief Minister is the principal actor,” Singh submitted before Joint Registrar Sanjay Jindal, The Indian Express reports.
In 2010, the applicant had alleged in the high court claiming that initially the book was shown to be “authored” by Nitish Kumar. Later, after his complaint, ADRI released a new version of the book, which was “endorsed” by the chief minister.