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DU teacher Samia Rahman’s demotion illegal, says HC

The High Court on Thursday declared that the decision of Dhaka University (DU) to demote its teacher Samia Rahman on charges of plagiarism in research papers was illegal.

The HC bench of Justice Zafar Ahmed and Justice Md Akhtaruzzaman passed the order after hearing a rule on legality of demoting the Dhaka University teacher, reports UNB.

It also asked the DU authorities to reinstate Samia to the post of associate professor with all previous facilities.

Barrister Hasan MS Azmi stood for Samia while deputy attorney general Nauroz Md Russel Chowdhury represented the state.

The DU syndicate committee downgraded Samia from associate professor to assistant professor on January 28 last year as punishment for alleged plagiarism in a research paper.

On August 31, 2021, Samia filed a writ petition challenging the legality of the decision of the university

On September 5, 2021, the High Court issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why the demotion of Samia should not be declared illegal.

 

The court also asked the DU Vice Chancellor and others involved to respond to the rule within four weeks and instructed them to submit all the documents against Samia within 21 days.

In December, 2016, an eight paged article, “A New Dimension in Colonialism and Pop Culture: A Case Study of Cultural Imperialism” jointly authored by Samia and DU lecturer Syed Mahfuzul Haque Marzan was published in the DU Social Science Review Journal.

Following the publication of their article in the journal, Alex Martin, who introduced himself as an administrative assistant of Chicago Journal, sent a written complaint to the DU in 2017 claiming that the article copied from Michel Foucault’s ‘The Subject and Power’.

Later, the DU authorities formed an investigation committee to look into the allegation on September 27, 2017.

The committee submitted a report in 2020 finding the accused guilty.

A panel was formed in October, 2020 making the Dean of DU Law Faculty and syndicate committee member Professor Md Rahmat Ullah the convener to recommend academic punishment for the accused.