New Delhi: The Madhya Pradesh High Court Wednesday asked an accused to plant “either fruit bearing trees or Neem and Peepal” as a bail condition and even asked him to take good care of the trees.
The court was hearing a bail application by a man accused under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to women with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012. He was arrested on 22 January and has been in jail since.
In response to his bail plea, Justice Anand Pathak ordered, “As per the undertaking given by learned counsel on behalf of the applicant, it is hereby directed that appellant shall plant 1 sapling (either fruit bearing trees or Neem and Peepal) alongwith tree guards or has to make arrangement for fencing for protection of the trees because it is the duty of the appellant not only to plant the saplings but also to nurture them.”
The judge also asked the trial court to monitor “the progress of the trees because human existence is at stake because of the environmental degradation and Court cannot put a blind fold over any casualness shown by the appellant regarding compliance”.
The accused Tilakraj Rajoriya has been asked to submit photographs of the saplings before the trial court on the 1st of every month.
The trial court, in turn, is expected to submit a report on the trees to the high court once every three months.
Justice Pathak said that the direction was being issued as a “test case to address the Anatomy of Violence and Evil by process of Creation and a step towards Alignment with Nature”.
“The natural instinct of compassion, service, love and mercy needs to be rekindled for human existence as they are innately engrained attributes of human existence,” the court added.
Rajoriya’s bail conditions also included a donation of Rs 2,500 to the PM CARES fund and his registration as a ‘Covid-19 warrior’ with the District Magistrate to help with “Covid-19 disaster management”.
Plant a 100 saplings: Orissa HC
The Orissa High Court had also recently asked a person accused of criminal intimidation and attempt to murder, to plant a hundred saplings as a condition for bail.
On June 12, the high court had observed that no prima facie case was made out against the applicant, and granted him bail with the direction — “Considering the submissions made, the facts and circumstances of the case and the period of detention, it is directed that the petitioner may be enlarged on bail on some stringent terms and conditions as deemed just and proper by the learned S.D.J.M., Boudh with further condition that the petitioner shall plant 100 saplings in his village within three months from the date of his release.”
The order was passed by Justice S.K. Panigrahi.
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