MP HC | Court directed to plant five saplings and produce photographic evidence of the same as criteria for bail application

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Anand Pathak, J., allowed a bail application provided the appellant would plant five saplings (either fruit-bearing trees or Neem/Peepal) along with tree guards or has to make arrangement for fencing for protection of the trees.

The appellant had filed a criminal appeal under Section 14-A(2) of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, which was dismissed by the trial Court. He was arrested for offences punishable under Sections 376, 294, 506, 34 of IPC and under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The respondent submitted that the appellant enjoyed physical proximity with her on the pretext of marriage. The appellant argued that a false case was registered against him and the act was consensual in nature. Further, he had been confined in the prison for a substantial period of time and would amount to pre-trial detention. He asked for a bail submitting that he would not be a source of embarrassment or harassment complainant party in any manner. He further undertook to perform community service.

The Court considered the prayer made by the appellant and allowed the appeal by directing him to do the following:

  1. he must comply with all the terms and conditions of the bond executed by him;
  2. he must cooperate in the investigation/trial;
  3. he must not move in the vicinity of the complainant;
  4. he shouldn’t leave India without permission of the trial Court/Investigating Officer.

He was further directed to plant five saplings (either fruit-bearing trees or Neem/Peepal) along with 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. For ensuring the compliance, he was asked to submit all the photographs of the plantation of trees/ saplings before the concerned trial Court along with a report within 30 days from the date of release of the appellant.

The above direction was made by the Court 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.”[Jitendra Goswami v. State of M.P., 2019 SCC OnLine MP 2033, decided on 16-08-2019]

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