New Delhi, Jan 16 An Income Tax Commissioner was Wednesday directed by the Delhi High Court to get himself psychologically assessed for making “lewd” and “scurrilous” statements against female colleagues despite previous warnings.
The court ordered S.K. Srivastava, Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals), to get himself admitted within two days at Vimhans Hospital. Doctors will examine him and file a report on his psychological health in a sealed cover by Feb 6.
A bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Indermeet Kaur meanwhile deferred the 15-day jail term awarded earlier by the high court till the next date of hearing.
“The sentence would remain suspended till the next date,” the bench said, after Srivastava filed an application against the jail term.
Expressing unhappiness over the government servant’s attitude to female colleagues, the court said, “He is absolutely incorrigible. Either he needs psychiatric help or he should be behind bars. We are shocked at the language used by an educated man like him against junior women colleagues.”
“We suspect this man will commit the same mistakes even after coming out of jail. Then, what can a court do to enforce its orders? So, let him go to Vimhans and let the doctors file a medical report in a sealed cover,” the court said.
Meanwhile counsel Kamini Jaiswal tried to defend Srivastava saying that he “definitely” needed some kind of counselling.
“He is indefensible… This behaviour could be because of the fact that he remained suspended for three years for no fault, on charges of sexual harassment,” Jaiswal said.
On the other hand, the women IT officers’ counsel said the move to put the man through a psychological test was “a ploy to avoid the jail term.”
“Even a mentally unstable person would not commit such acts,” the counsel said.
Srivastava was awarded 15 days of civil imprisonment by the single judge bench which held him guilty of contempt of court for abusing two women colleagues despite the court’s warning.
The judge had given the order on the plea of two women IT officers seeking Srivatava’s prosecution for contempt after the IRS officer used offending words against his colleagues, in various communications, forcing them to move the court.
The court had noted that Srivastava seemed to be aggrieved and perhaps held the women officers responsible for having him suspended from service for a period of three years between 2007 to 2010, thus affecting his promotion prospects.