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Hirani-Dutt meeting in jail: Probe report says officials flouted rules

Hirani had visited the jail in Sept to supervise Dutt’s rehearsal for a cultural programme.

Written by Sushant Kulkarni | Pune | January 2, 2014 10:20:25 pm

The Yerawada prison’s internal inquiry into the visit of Bollywood director Rajkumar Hirani to the jail to meet Sanjay Dutt,pictures of which were published in the media,has found that the jail department officials have flouted the rules. The final action on the report by the prisons department head is now awaited.

State ADGP (Prisons) Meeran Borwankar had ordered an inquiry by the the vigilance wing in October 2013 to probe on what grounds the Yerawada jail officers had allowed Hirani to meet Dutt on September 24,2013. The photos of Dutt,Hirani,along with Marathi actor Rahul Solapurkar,jail superintendent Yogesh Desai and some others had also appeared in the media the next day.

As per the prison manual,only the immediate kin are allowed to meet inmates and for taking photos,permission from an officer of the IG rank is needed,which was not taken.

The manual also says that apart from the immediate kin only one more person and the lawyer whose names have been listed by the inmate at the time of admission are allowed to visit the inmate.

Dutt,serving his sentence in connection 1993 Mumbai blasts case and currently out on parole,was scheduled to participate in a cultural programme along with 40 other inmates on September 26. The programme was called off a few hours before it was to begin and the authorities had cited secruity reasons. Tickets for the show had been sold out and the money earned from it had to be returned to the buyers.

Yerawada jail sources said Solapurkar was asked by the jail department to guide the inmates for the programme and had visited the jail as per the procedure. However,Hirani was requested by senior officers from the jail to give ‘final touches’ to the performances after a suggestion from Dutt himself.

A senior official with the Yerawada jail said,“The inquiry by vigilance wing is over. The statements of the officers and some other people have been recorded and the report has been submitted to the prisons department head recently. The inquiry has found out that the officers here had broken rules from the Prison Manual by calling Hirani to the jail and then allowing the pictures to be taken and published. We are expecting an action against some officers. The type of action to be taken against the officers involved will be decided by the jail department head.”

In an SMS to The Indian Express,Borwankar confirmed that the report was submitted to her and that she was examining it. No officers from the vigilance wing could be contacted. 

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