The Delhi High Court passed the order on a plea of historian Dr Vikram Sampath, who had moved to the court after some academicians published a letter alleging plagiarism.
The Delhi High Court restrained some academicians and journalists from publishing any defamatory material against historian Dr Vikram Sampath. The Delhi High Court passed the order on Friday (February 18) on a plea of Dr Sampath.
In the interim order, Justice Amit Bansal said, “The continued publication of the letter has been causing considerable damage to the plaintiff’s reputation and career. Balance of convenience is also in his favour and irreparable damage will be caused if the injunction is not granted…consequently, till the next date of hearing, defendants no 1 (Dr Audrey Truschke), 2 (Dr Ananya Chakrabarti), 3 (Dr Rohit Chopra), 6 (Abhishek Baxi) and 7 (Ashok Swain) are restrained from publishing the letter dated February 11, 2022 or any other defamatory material on Twitter as well as any other online or offline platforms.”
The court issued a notice to defendants as well as the Union government and the microblogging platform Twitter.
In a letter to the Royal Historical Society, three ‘academicians’ from the US, Ananya Chakravarti, Rohit Chopra, and Audrey Truschke, have alleged that Dr Sampath has plagiarised his essay in the India Foundation journal. They have demanded that his membership of the Society be rescinded.
The letter to the Society alleges plagiarism on two counts. It alleges Dr Sampath has not acknowledged the works of Dr Vinayak Chaturvedi Dr Janaki Bakhale in the speech delivered at the India Foundation event in 2017. Second, it alleges that the first volume on Veer Savarkar by Dr Sampath had not acknowledged the work of undergraduate student Paul Schaffel.
Contrary to what they have alleged, it was not an essay, but a speech delivered at the 2017 India Foundation event. In that speech, Dr Sampath duly acknowledged Dr Vinayak Chaturvedi and Dr Janaki Bakhale. Secondly, Dr Janaki Bakhale reviewed Dr Sampath’s book for India Today in September 2019 and has not talked about plagiarism anywhere.
Although Dr Sampath has not quoted undergraduate scholar Paul Schaffel, he has made sure to acknowledge his undergraduate thesis in his bibliography of works referenced.
In a series of tweets, writer and columnist Sanjeev Sanyal decoded how this smear campaign was orchestrated to malign the reputation of Dr Vikram Sampath.
Sanyal said, “First, the evidence doesn’t relate to any of Sampath’s major works but the transcript of a speech he did at India Foundation in 2017. I also spoke at the event, and remember Vikram speaking mostly extempore with a few short passages read out. Second, the supposedly plagiarised sentences are from two scholars Vinayak Chaturvedi & Janaki Bakhle. They are both mentioned in the references, and the former is mentioned clearly in the text. Is it plagiarism when the source is mentioned prominently?”
He further added, “Janaki Bakhle reviewed Vikram’s book on Savarkar. She had both positive & negative comments, but nowhere did she mention plagiarism. As should be clear, this is just a smear campaign against Dr Vikram Sampath by the same old Left cabal who cannot tolerate the fact that their carefully constructed narrative is collapsing. If this is the best they could find against Vikram, they really have no legs to stand on.”
Dr Sampath wrote two volumes about Veer Savarkar, Savarkar: Echoes from a Forgotten Past, 1883–1924 (published in 2019 by Penguin Books) & Savarkar: A Contested Legacy, 1924-1966 (published in 2021 by Penguin Books). These two books have particularly rattled the Leftists and Islamists as many facts about Veer Savarkar have been presented in the two volumes, which have shattered the narrative spread so far by the cabal.
Dr Sampath was elected the Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2021. In 2012, Dr Sampath was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for his book “My Name is Gauhar Jaan: The Life and Times of a Musician”.
Commenting on the current smear campaign against Dr Sampath, scientist Dr Anand Ranganathan said, “They blackmailed a reviewer to rescind on his praise for J Sai Deepak; now they are blackmailing the Royal Historical Society to rescind on its fellowship for Dr. Vikram Sampath. We often think the monied, not scholars, face threats. Wrong. Scholarship threatens most because to the mediocre it hurts most.”