Actor Sanjay Dutt has been granted a second extension in his ongoing parole. The extension will allow Dutt, who was sent to Yerawada jail last year in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, to stay out of prison for another month. The 53-year-old has cited his wife Manyata’s illness as ground for the parole and subsequent extensions.
“Every inmate, except those on the death row, can avail a 28 day furlough and three paroles. A lot of prisoners avail these rights. But the papers have moved faster at every level in this case — it is an example of how the system works when influential people are involved and there is political interference,” an officer from the prisons department said on condition of anonymity.
Pune divisional commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh said, “The parole extension has been granted. The ACP of Bandra has given his report and has attached reports from doctors. This is the last extension he can get this year.” Dutt’s current extension ends on Thursday and the second one will end on March 21.
Dutt, whose conviction for possession of arms was upheld by the Supreme Court in March last year, was sent to jail in May. In the last week of September, he was granted a 14-day furlough because of leg pain. The furlough was subsequently extended by 14 more days. In December, he was granted parole, which was extended in January.
PIL questions parole to Dutt
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A PIL filed in the Bombay High Court Tuesday questioned the discretion used by authorities in granting parole and furlough to actor Sanjay Dutt, who is serving the remainder of his five-year term in Yerwada jail after being convicted for possession of an AK-47 before the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai in 1993.
Pune-based lawyer Tushar Pabale, the petitioner, urged the court to frame guidelines for grant of parole and furlough. Pabale’s lawyer Nikhil Chaudhari said, “There is ambiguity in the Bombay Furlough and Parole Rules. Their provisions are not clear. We have, hence, asked the court to frame guidelines.” Chaudhari alleged there was “abuse of discretionary power” on part of the divisional commissioner, Pune, and the jail superintendent in granting parole.
“Rich and influential persons are being released on parole repeatedly, while common convicts are having to move the HC to seek parole. There are so many such applications pending before the High Court”. A division bench led by Justice N H Patil is likely to hear the PIL on February 25 ENS