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Indian Scientist Sues International Genetic Centre for $5 Million

sts within ICGEB in Delhi are unhappy with the treatment meted out to their colleague but are unwilling to speak up. ICGEB's Director General Francisco Baralle however claims that Mohan "has been treated fairly as the closure of his group and non-renewal of his contract was based on independent and expert assessments" of the group's achievements.

Mohan's lawyers, in the affidavit, however contest this by pointing out that more than half of the 36 papers published on gall midge in India in the last 10 years came from his group and that he has also filed seven patents.

The group had secured total grants of more than $1 million since 1992, mostly from Rockefeller Foundation which had complimented his team by saying: "This is an impressive group of scientists who are performing state of the art research on an important problem."

According to the lawyers, their client is a victim of "irrational prejudice" of Delhi Unit's director Virander Singh Chauhan. They point out that although the whole group was being closed, only Mohan was asked to leave and he was not allowed to pursue another line of research within ICGEB, although this has been the practice.

As further proof of victimisation, the lawyers said their client was removed from his teaching assignments without any notification and denied permission to go to on official trips to collect "gall-midges" from field for research and to attend international meetings.

Continuous harassment "resulted into mental stress which further developed into many medical problems, as suggested by the medical reports since 1998, the year Chauhan became the director", the lawyers alleged. According to the case being filed, these medical problems could have also been caused by exposure to several radioactive substances that ICGEB had imported between 1988 and 1995 without permission from the Indian Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. Permission was obtained only in 1995, the lawye
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