Delhi police arrested a 38-year-old man and busted his racket allegedly involved in printing pirated National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) books for classes 6 to 12, Delhi police said on Tuesday.
“The poor quality pirated books were being supplied in the market at cheaper rates causing huge revenue loss to the NCERT. Such books are directly supplied to sellers for selling them as genuine ones. The sellers were offered a high-profit margin…,” said deputy police commissioner (crime) Rajesh Deo.
Police said 5,000 pirated books, nearly 80,000 printed sheets of paper, from which 12,000 pirated books can be prepared, 166 metallic plates used for printing, two latest offset printing machines, and a large number of plain papers containing NCERT watermark were seized.
Deo said the NCERT books have been in huge demand as the Union education ministry has made them mandatory for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) affiliated schools. He added the move came amid allegations that schools were allegedly compelling students to purchase costly books of private publishers.
Schools were allegedly getting hefty monetary benefits from the publishers in lieu of prescribing their books. Consequent to the government’s move, there was a sudden rise in demand for the NCERT books. Unscrupulous elements exploited the situation by getting pirated books printed…”
The crime branch was tasked to collect information regarding racketeers involved in such illegal practices. Last month, the special investigation unit-2 (SIU-2) of the branch received information that a publication unit in Mandoli was involved in printing pirated NCERT books.
On 18 September, the team along with vigilance and production officers of the NCERT raided the printing unit and seized finished and semi-finished pirated books. A case of cheating, forgery, and under the Copyright Act was registered and raids were conducted to nab the alleged mastermind of the racket, Manoj Jain.
“We arrested Jain on October 4 (Monday) and booked him in the case. The accused, owner of the printing press also owns a similar setup in East Nathu Colony in Shahdara. The Mandoli unit…suffered losses due to Covid-19. To manage the losses, and gain maximum benefits, Jain started printing pirated NCERT books…,” said Deo. Police were trying to identify other people involved in the racket.