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Plagiarism at Universities: Blacklisting of Ex-VP of Teacher's Association suspended by SHC

SindhHighCourt

By Our Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD – The Sindh High Court has recently suspended the implementation of an earlier notification from the Higher Education Commission, which had blacklisted the former Vice president of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association, on charges of Plagiarism.

According to recent media reports; Dr Azhar Ali Shah- an associate professor in Sindh University, was among the 20 teachers of seven universities in Pakistan who were blacklisted and stripped of all benefits and allowances in March 2015.

The news report further stated that; All of them were charged with plagiarism and were accused of re-publishing, in Pakistani journals, two of his articles that were earlier published in foreign journals, without modifying his research. The act amounts to self-plagiarism in the academic parlance.

The court restrained the SU’s syndicate, which was scheduled to meet in the end of August, from implementing the HEC’s notification until the next hearing. The petitioner informed the court that; decision over the issue is on the meeting’s agenda.

In his petition before the Hyderabad Circuit Bench, Shah maintained that; this decision by the HEC’s Plagiarism Standing Committee violated the commission’s plagiarism policy. He was not even heard before facing the HEC’s action, he added. Shah claimed that before publishing his articles in the SU’s Research Journal in 2011, the varsity’s focal person for anti-plagiarism – Dr M Saleem Chandio had cleared it for publication.

He argued that; the committee took action on a fake complaint against him. “The [then] acting SU’s VC [Dr Parveen Shah who is VC in Khairpur’s Shah Abdul Latif University (SALU)] and former SALU professor Ghulam Raza Bhatti [one of the 13-member Plagiarism Standing Committee] used their influence [against me],” he had said in his initial reaction to his blacklisting. Shah hoped the court would declare the notification illegal and order the HEC to restore his benefits.

September 1, 2015

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