Ahead of the World Environment Day, a judge in Rajasthan’s Pratapgarh district has granted bail to four men accused of felling trees in a forest on the condition that they will plant 270 saplings of gooseberry to compensate for the loss.District and sessions judge Rajendra Kumar Sharma ordered the four — Rama alias Ramlal Teli, Jaswant Dhobi, Dinesh Teli and Mohammad Hussain — on Monday to also provide evidence of the survival of the saplings every three months. The number of saplings is 10 times that of the trees they are accused of felling.“They need to produce evidence in court every three months about the survival of the 270 trees. The trees cannot be cut without the permission of this court,” Sharma said.“Keeping them in jail would serve no purpose. It is better to arouse love for the environment in them. When they raise 270 trees, they will obviously feel the love for them and may not damage to the environment again.”The four are accused of cutting 27 khair trees (botanical name acacia catechu) around midnight at Gandher on March 19 purportedly for the purposes of smuggling.“When a forest team reached the spot on receiving information that they were felling trees, the four men fled, leaving a tractor trailer laden with tree logs. We also recovered a power saw and three motorcycles,” said Pratapgarh’s deputy conservator of forests, Sangram Singh Katiyar. He said the trees they felled were planted in 1997 during a drive. Katiyar welcomed the court’s order and said such decisions will deter forest offences. “Such decisions from district courts are rare. It is a welcome step,” he said.Pratapgarh’s station house officer, Gopal Chandel, said the accused were arrested on March 21 and sent in judicial custody a day later.