A litigant as well as the opponent came together to celebrate a judgement
Ever heard of a court, its judges, law officers, advocates, a litigant as well as the opponent in a particular case coming together to celebrate a judgement passed in their case? It did happen on Saturday when the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) began planting 10 saplings for every tree cut by it to widen the highways within the territorial jurisdiction of the Madras High Court Bench here.
The plantation ceremony was held simultaneously at NHAI’s five Project Implementation Units (PIUs) at Madurai, Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Karur and Karaikudi. Justice N. Kirubakaran of the High Court and Additional Advocate General K. Chellapandian kick-started the process by planting the first two saplings on the side of a highway behind the High Court Bench campus.
Passing interim orders in a public interest litigation (PIL) petition on February 6, a Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Satish K. Agnihotri and Justice R. Sudhakar had directed NHAI to compensate with 10 saplings instead of just three as ordered by the Centre while granting environment clearance for the road widening works.
Later, Mr. Justice Sudhakar appointed a group of advocate volunteers to monitor the work. He handpicked a green armband to be worn by them and insisted that a ceremony be held on February 15 to mark the beginning of the plantation work scheduled to be held over the next six months as NHAI had to plant 6,70,640 saplings for having cut 67,064 trees in the five PIUs.
Office-bearers of Women Lawyers Association J. Nisha Banu, N. Krishnaveni and Jeya Indra Patel too volunteered. They planted a sapling on Friday and named it as ‘Azhagi’ meaning a pretty girl. N. Varadarajan, Project Director, Tiruchi PIU, said the plantation work would be completed within the stipulated time. “The process would be accelerated during the rainy season,” he added.
C. Arulvadivel alias Sekar, counsel for NHAI Project Directors, said that the endeavour would definitely succeed as the High Court had made it mandatory to file a progress report on the first working day of every month.