Several sections of a paper co-authored by Balraj Chauhan—a member of the home ministry’s Committee for Reforms in Criminal Laws—are plagiarised. The paper, titled “Good Governance: Search for Accountability Mechanism,” was published in the Indian Journal of Public Administration in October 2011.
Chauhan was the vice chancellor of Dharmashastra National Law University in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur until mid-June this year. Chauhan’s co-author, Mridul Srivastava, is an assistant registrar at the Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University in Lucknow. The IJPA is a peer-reviewed journal of the Indian Institute of Public Administration, which describes itself as an autonomous academic institution. Chauhan and Srivastava’s paper is a little over 4,500 words long. Of these, at least 3,500 words had previously appeared in other publications, written by other authors, and only about a little over nine hundred words appear to be original.
The CRCL is a committee that the ministry of home affairs has constituted to review India’s criminal laws. On its website, the committee says that it “endeavours to recommend reforms” to India’s criminal laws “in a principled, effective, and efficient manner.” However, lawyers, activists and academics criticised the constitution of the committee for not being representative of the country, and not including members who are Dalits, Adivasis or from other marginalised communities.