The Delhi High Court has directed a man to plant 50 trees as community service while agreeing to close criminal proceedings against him in a power theft case.
The court said trees shall be planted within a month and asked him to report to the Deputy Conservator of Forest (West), who shall assign him the duty to plant 50 trees in Central Ridge Reserve Forest, Budha Jayanti Park, Vandemataram Marg in New Delhi.
"The plants/trees shall be of deciduous indigenous variety with a nursery age of three and a half years, and a height of at least six feet. Depending upon the soil type and topography, the DCF may consider the following types of trees for plantation...," Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said.
The court asked the man and DCF to file an affidavit of compliance of its order, failing which the registry shall list the case for directions. It said aerial pictures, prior to and after the plantation, shall be obtained by the DCF and be filed along with his affidavit.
The officer will have to monitor and ensure upkeep of the plantation and he will file a report six weeks after the plantation with fresh photographs to show the health/status of the trees.
The court, which said a copy of the order be communicated to the DCF (West) concerned, passed the order on a man's plea challenging framing of charges against him for the offence of electricity theft.
The electricity department had lodged a complaint that theft of electricity was found in the premises of the man, whereby a wire was connected directly to the public pole outside his shop.
The high court set aside the trial court's order framing charges against the man and discharged him of the offence under the Electricity Act.
Keeping in view the facts and circumstances and also the fact that the parties have settled their disputes, the court said this was a fit case for putting an end to the proceedings as no fruitful purpose would be served in continuation of the proceedings.
The man had claimed that he had given the shop on rent and on account of non-payment of rent the services to the tenant, that is, electricity supply got disconnected and the illegal work was done by the tenant without his consent and knowledge.
Proceedings were initiated against the tenant and he was convicted and had to pay the civil liability amount. Proceedings were also initiated against the man on the allegation that the wire was connected with his consent and knowledge. The matter was settled between the man and the electricity department in mediation and he had agreed to pay the settlement amount of Rs 18,267.