The CIIT discovered “so-called plagiarism” nine years after the completion of the PhD of Rashid
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday granted time to Preston University to submit a reply in connection with the allegedly plagiarised PhD thesis of its alumni Dr Haroon Rashid – pro-rector of the Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT).
Rashid has moved the court against the Higher Education Commission (HEC), which is initiating a probe after software found that he had allegedly plagiarised up to 72 per cent of his PhD thesis.
Rashid, through his counsel Raja Abid Hassan, has made the HEC, its chairman and an assistant director, the Preston University chancellor, and the CIIT rector, respondents.
IHC Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi granted time to the Preston University on the grounds that the notice was not received in time for a reply to be prepared.
At the previous hearing, while granting stay on the matter, the court had issued notices to all respondents for submitting a reply in the case.
Rashid’s thesis titled “Parallel scientific applications scheduling on distributed computing system” was submitted to Preston University in 2006, while the alleged source material was submitted to Hamdard University in 2004 by Rafiqul Zaman Khan with the titled “Empirical study of task partitioning, scheduling and load balancing strategies for distributed images of computing system”.
In the petition, Hassan stated that Rashid vehemently denied the allegations of plagiarism. He has accused the HEC chairman of waging a media war against him.
On August 21, the HEC directed CIIT to investigate allegations of plagiarism against the petitioner. An HEC assistant director wrote a letter to CIIT Rector Dr SM Zaidi “to investigate the case as per policy within 90 days and share the outcome with the HEC.”
Hassan stated that the HEC, its chairman and an assistant director, had not taken a single step in compliance with their own policy.
“The petitioner, due to these baseless allegations is constantly being ridiculed in the society, in the media and among his contemporaries,” Hassan maintained.
Referring to a letter issued by the assistant director on May 26, 2009, Hassan maintained that cases of alleged plagiarism prior to September 2007 cannot be opened under the plagiarism policy.
Rashid obtained his PhD in Nov 2006 – 10 months prior to the cut-off date, he added.
The CIIT discovered “so-called plagiarism” nine years after the completion of the PhD of Rashid when a dispute arose between the other respondents, Hassan alleged in the petition.
Hassan prayed before the IHC to set aside Aug 21 letter of HEC and declare it illegal.
He further requested the court to restrain the respondents from looking into the allegation of plagiarism against Rashid as the matter could not be opened now under the HEC’s plagiarism policy.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2015.