The Bombay High Court on Thursday disposed of the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in connection with the early release of Sanjay Dutt from Yerawada jail stating that it found no violations on the part of the state in releasing the actor eight months early.
The court was hearing the PIL filed by a social worker, Pradeep Bhalekar, challenging Dutt’s early release from jail and questioning repeated paroles granted to him while he was in prison after being convicted under the Arms Act in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case.
Bhalekar’s lawyer, Nitin Sapute, had told the court that Dutt is a Bollywood star and has political backing to avail speedy grant of parole or furlough. Dutt was out on parole and furlough for 146 days.
“Poor people are not granted such facilities and his case was considered out of 27,400 convicts,” Satpute argued.
Advocate-General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni filed an affidavit and documents stating in detail the parole and furlough granted to Dutt. Considering the submissions made by the state, a bench of Justice S C Dharmadhikari and Justice Bharati Dangre observed: “No violations or abuse of discretionary powers were detected.”
The court further noted that the petition does not serve the purpose of PIL and disposed it of. The court also suggested that the state government should come up with an app to keep track of parole and furlough applications so that those are not unattended.
Dutt had spent a little over a year and four months in jail as an undertrial and about two-and-a-half-years in prison, as a convict, between June 2013 and February 2016.
He remained out of jail for over five months on parole and furlough.