A Division Bench of the Delhi High Court has issued a notice to Sanjay Kumar Srivastava, a tainted former IRS officer, on a contempt petition filed by the Central government Standing Counsel, Ravi Prakash for slanderous personal allegations against the latter.
Last year, Srivastava was compulsorily retired over charges of corruption and misconduct and later arrested by the CBI after a raid leading to huge recovery of gold and cash.
The Division Bench headed by Justice J.R. Midha in its order dated July 28 has asked Srivastava to reply within two weeks. The matter will next be heard on August 25.
The former official has been involved in litigation throughout his career.
Currently, he faces several departmental enquiries on charges of committing contempt of court, insubordination and using slanderous language in courts.
Ravi Prakash in his contempt application said that by a special order, he along with another special counsel were engaged to handle all cases against Srivastava with the objective to achieve consistency and uniformity in pleadings and arguments. Several orders of different courts have been placed on record in the contempt application validating the stand of the Union of India in cases against Srivastava.
Prakash and other special counsel have also been engaged in other cases against 85 IRS officers, who were compulsorily retired under FR 56 (j), last year.
Interestingly, Srivastava had earlier made wild personal allegations against the same government lawyer in another case before the Delhi High Court, but later retracted from the same to escape the consequences of contempt. He had then skirted the issue by stating that he was referring to another person with the same name as that of the government lawyer.
The personal allegations, according to the contempt application, have been made to deter Prakash from effectively prosecuting cases against Srivastava in various courts.
The contempt application records that immediately after the compulsory retirement of Srivastava, the CBI raided his house and he was found in possession of jewellery valued at over Rs. 2.47 crore, Rs. 16.45 lakh in cash, bank deposits worth more than Rs 1.69 crore, documents reflecting bank transfer of Rs. 50 lakh and watches worth Rs. 10 lakh among other things.
Apart from this, Rs. 1.21 lakh was also recovered from a boutique, which is allegedly being run by his wife. Srivastava was arrested in this case by the CBI and remained behind bars for about three months.
The CBI has already filed a charge sheet in this case before the Special CBI Court, Ghaziabad, under Sections 120-B, 420, 468 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The case is pending for trial.