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'Unworkable': SC Sets Aside Delhi HC's Direction To Insurance Company To Plant 100 Trees [Read Order]

13 Aug 2020 10:51 AM GMT
Unworkable: SC Sets Aside Delhi HCs Direction To Insurance Company To Plant 100 Trees [Read Order]
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The Supreme Court has set aside the direction issued by the Delhi High Court to an Insurance Company to plant hundred trees

The Delhi High Court had passed this direction as an interim order after it noticed that the Oriental Insurance Company Ltd., which was the appellant in an MACA before it, failed to take steps to bring on record the legal heirs of one of the claimants before MACT, despite despite several opportunities. The High Court gave the insurance company one last opportunity to effect the service of notice subject to it planting 100 trees at the Central Ridge in 'Insaaf Bagh'. Justice Najmi Wazari had further directed thus: "The duly authorized representative of the Insurance company, shall appear before the DCF (South) on 27.12.2019, who shall indicate to the authorized representative the forest lands under his care where the trees shall be planted. The trees shall be of deciduous indigenous variety and they shall have a nursery age of three and a half years and shall have a minimum height of at least six feet."

Before the Apex Court, the Insurance company contended that the said condition imposed is unworkable in its character since the Insurance Company cannot look after the trees and that the panacea should have been addressed by imposition of cost.

We are in agreement with the submission of the learned counsel for the appellant to the extent that the latter part of the order possibly become unworkable, said the bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Ajay Rastogi. The bench, while setting aside these directions, further observed that the appropriate course of action for the High Court should have been to dismiss the appeal in this case.

Delhi HC's 'Plant Trees' Orders

There are many such orders of the Delhi High Court in which it has issued such  'plant trees' directions. Recently, as a condition to grant more time to file a reply,  Justice Najmi Wazri directed the Delhi Development Authority to pay costs by way of donation and plantation of 50 trees in the green area being developed by DDA in the lands abutting Abul Fazal Enclave/Jamia area. In March, this year, the Judge allowed Municipal Corporation of Delhi's application for condonation of delay, subject to it planting 500 trees in the riot affected areas of Delhi within 2 weeks. It appears that such directions are being issued since mid-last year.

'Plant Trees' Bail Conditions

Madhya Pradesh and Orissa High Courts had recently imposed planting Of saplings as a Bail Condition. "This direction is made by this 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," Justice Anand Pathak of Madhya Pradesh HC had observed in the order.

Last year, while ordering release of a 'convict' who was later found to be a juvenile at the time of incident of crime, the Supreme Court had directed him to plant 100 trees within a period of one year.

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