The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has issued notices to four faculty members who were found guilty of ‘unethical practices’ in the research work by the institute’s ethics committee.
The faculty members were recently asked to reply in two weeks as to why an action should not be taken against them.
Confirming the development, a highly-placed source in PGI said, “Head of the pharmacology department Dr Amitava Chakravarti; associate professor, department of endocrinology, Dr Pinaki Dutta; head of parasitology department Dr Rakesh Sehgal and associate professor in department of urology Dr Santosh Kumar have been served notices.”
The doctors are accused of plagiarism and other malpractices, such as tinkering with the data to supplement research work. “Plagiarism is a serious offence under Sections 57 and 63 of Indian Copyright Act. Copyright infringement is a criminal offence and the guilty can be imprisoned,” said advocate Rohit Seth.
The issue was raised in the governing body (apex decision-making body of the PGIMER) meet on October 13, 2015, citing the report of the institute’s ethics committee against the doctors.
“Recently, it has been brought to the notice of the PGI administration that some of its faculty members are indulging in unethical practices in research projects to acclaim name,” read the governing body’s agenda for the meet.
The governing body then decided to seek an explanation from the doctors concerned, followed by an appropriate departmental action.
The institute took note of the issue through media reports and complaints made by colleagues of the accused doctors.
Earlier, HT had highlighted that even six months after complaints came to the fore against the doctors, no action had been taken by the PGI administration.
When HT tried to contact the accused doctors, two of them were not available and other two said they have not received any such notice yet.
Institute’s acting public relations officer Dr Ashok Gupta said, “I am aware that the issue of irregularities in research work by some doctors is going on, but have no knowledge about the notices served to them.”