In an innovative punishment, the Delhi High Court on Thursday directed Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa and four others to plant 15,000 trees in the Delhi South Ridge, observing that they have failed to file a response on an ED appeal challenging their acquittal in the 2G case.
Justice Najmi Waziri, while granting a final opportunity to Balwa, businessman Rajiv Agarwal and three companies -- Dynamix Reality Pvt Ltd, DB Reality and Nihar Constructions -- asked them to plant 3,000 trees each in Delhi's South Ridge forest area.
The court has listed the matter for further hearing on March 26. The court also directed the parties to submit photographs of their plantation drive on the next date of hearing.
It has also asked former Union Telecom Minister A. Raja's close aide R.K. Chandolia to plant 300 trees for not filing a reply to a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) appeal challenging his acquittal.
The court has asked them to appear before the Deputy Conservator of Forests on February 15, which will allocate land for the plantations.
The court said that the trees should be of indigenous variety and must be taken care of till the monsoon.
It added that the trees are to be of nursery age three-and-a-half years and six feet in height.
A special court here had acquitted Raja, Kanimozhi and the others on December 21, 2017.
The probe agencies approached the court in March 2018 challenging the trial court order.
In the last hearing on October 9, 2018, the Delhi High Court had granted the persons the last opportunity to file their responses on the agencies' plea, warning that no more delays would be allowed.
However, when Balwa and the others failed to file a reply despite repeated reminders, it asked them to carry out a plantation drive instead of imposing monetary costs on them.
Mostly in such circumstances, the court imposes costs on the litigants.
But this time, stressing on the need to revive 48,000 acres of the Delhi ridge, it said it has passed similar orders for planting of thousands of saplings since Thursday morning.
However, he informed the court that the survival rate of saplings planted is low as they die due to lack of care.
The court said that the persons will have to take proper care of the plants till the monsoon.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)