The Maharashtra government on Monday filed an affidavit with the Bombay High Court justifying Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt’s early release, stating that it was done as per rules and that no special treatment was meted out to him. Sanjay Dutt who was arrested for possession of arms which were a part of the consignment used in the 1993 blasts was sentenced to five years jail. He was, however, let out eight months early on account of his good behaviour as well as positive participation during his punishment in Pune’s Yerwada Jail.
The government submitted a report before a bench of Justices R M Savant and Sadhana Jadhav, saying the actor was granted remission on account of his “good behaviour, discipline and participation in various institutional activities such as physical training, educational programmes and for performing the allotted work.”
The report was submitted in response to a PIL filed by Pune resident Pradeep Bhalekar who questioned the regular paroles and furloughs that were granted to the actor. In response the report said, “The Maharashtra Prisons (Remission System) Rules provide for remission of up to three days per month for good behaviour, discipline and so on. In the present matter at hand, as per the rules, the accused (Dutt) is entitled for 256 days remission which comes to eight months and 16 days.”
It also said that on October 19, 2015, an application was filed by Dutt seeking sanction for special remission which was rejected by the prisons department on December 15, 2015. However, the same was later allowed considering the accused’s “conduct and behaviour” and Dutt was released from jail on February 25, 2016, the report said.
Sanjay Dutt, who was arrested in connection with the 1993 Mumbai blasts spent around 18 months as an under-trial. In 2007, Mumbai’s TADA court sentenced him to six years of rigorous imprisonment under the Arms Act and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000. However, in 2013, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction, but reduced the quantum of punishment to five years. Dutt, who was on bail during the trial surrendered in May 2013 to serve the remainder of his punishment. During his imprisonment, he was granted parole for 90 days in December 2013 and for 30 days later.
The High Court will next hear the petition after two weeks.
(With inputs from PTI)