A day after actor Sanjay Dutt moved an application before the Special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act (TADA) court seeking permission to surrender directly before jail authorities instead of the court,his lawyer on Wednesday told the court that he wished to withdraw the application.
Dutt,53,convicted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and sentenced to five-year rigorous imprisonment for possessing an automatic rifle,will surrender on Thursday before the Special TADA court.
While it is yet to decided as to in which jail Dutt will be lodged,employees in the jail department said he was likely to be sent to the Yerawada Central Jail. Senior officials,however,said it would be confirmed only after his surrender. The officials also made it clear that no different arrangements would be made for Dutt and that he would be treated like any other inmate.
On April 18,the apex court had granted Dutt a four-week extension for surrender so that he could fulfill his professional commitments.
On Wednesday,Dutts lawyer Subhash Jadhav told the court that as per the directions given by his client (Dutt),he would like to withdraw the application. There are no reasons for this withdrawal. I am only acting upon the orders given by my client, Jadhav said.
Citing the security threat and the chase by the media last time he was lodged in jail,Dutt had moved the TADA court to allow to him to surrender directly at the Yerawada jail in Pune or the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai,saying his transit journey from the court to the jail would be difficult. He had also feared serious threat to life from the vested interest groups and other fundamental groups and organisations,thus creating a law and order situation.
The court had allowed him to withdraw this plea later.
Dutt is most likely to be lodged at the Yerawada jail after he surrenders before the TADA court in Mumbai. However,no special security arrangements have been made on the way or around the jail premises. It is not necessary, said a source in the jail department headquarters in Pune.
An officer with the department said: He was earlier lodged here for part of the sentence. He is likely to be brought here this time too. No different arrangement will be made for him…
Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) Meeran Borwankar said: As a policy matter,I will not like to comment on where he will be kept. And,no special provisions will be made for him. He is a convict like any other.
A senior official said oral orders had been issued to jail employees to follow a certain code after his arrival. It may be recalled that a jail staffer had to face action for shaking hand with Dutt during his stay at the Yerawada jail last time.
Dutt,who was convicted for the offence punishable under Sections 3 and 7 read with Sections 25(1-A),(1-B)(a) of the Arms Act,has already spent 18 months in jail. After the trial courts judgment on July 31,2007,Dutt was immediately taken into custody and sent to Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai. He was shifted to Yerawada jail on August 2,2007.