Lewd remarks: I-T officer told to undergo psychological tests

In an unusual order, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered an Income-Tax Commissioner to get himself admitted to a hospital for psychological tests and suspended the 15-day jail term given to him for making 'scurrilous' statements against his women colleagues.

Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) S K Srivastava will get himself admitted within two days at Vimhans Hospital and the doctors, who will examine his psychological health, would file a report in a sealed cover before February 6, said a Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Indermeet Kaur.

"The sentence would remain suspended till the next date," the Bench said while taking note of Srivastava's appeal against the 15-day jail term given to him for committing contempt of court and making "scurrilous" and "lewd" statements against his women colleagues despite the court's warnings against doing so.

"He is indefensible.... This behaviour could be because of the fact that he remained suspended for three years without his fault, that too on charges of sexual harassment," said Kamini Jaiswal, counsel for Srivastava, and added that he "definitely" needed some kind of counselling.

A single-judge Bench, on January 4, had awarded him 15 days of civil imprisonment after finding him guilty of its contempt for using unparliamentary language against his two women colleagues despite court orders against doing so.

The counsel for women I-T officers, however, opposed the HC order to send Srivastava to hospital saying "it was just a ploy to avoid the jail term".

"Even a mentally unstable person would not commit such acts," the lawyer said.

"No no.... A mad person can do anything," the Bench said and ordered, "Let the contemnor (Srivastava) undergo the tests" and he may face the consequences if tests indicate something.

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