Actor Sanjay Dutt walked free from Pune’s Yerawada Jail on Thursday morning after completing his prison term following his conviction in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.
From May 2013, the 56-year-old actor had been in jail – as prisoner number 16656 – to complete 42 months out of a total of five years of imprisonment that was awarded to him by a special court, and subsequently confirmed by the Supreme Court in 2013. In 2007-08, Dutt had served 18 months in jail.
His full sentence period would have ended in November this year, but after being granted remission of seven days per month, his date of release was set around February end. The remission was granted to him based on his behaviour in jail and the good work that he has done such as hosting the jail’s internal Radio station ‘Radio YCP.’ (Read: Sanjay Dutt’s dramatic exit from Yerwada jail- salutes guards)
Dutt’s prison term had controversies. He had stayed out of jail for 118 days on paroles and furloughs in the first one year of this term at Yerawada, prompting many to raise questions whether the government was granting favours to him. The prison administration, however, has always stated that no special favours were granted to him. (PHOTOS: Sanjay Dutt’s first pics outside Yerwada jail: Touches the ground, salutes the guards)
In 2013, Dutt was slated to participate in a cultural programme ‘Teemiratuni Tejakade’ (From Darkness to Light) along with 40 other inmates. In September 2013, director Rajkumar Hirani had visited him inside the jail after Hirani was called in by prison officers to give final touches to the performances. Photos of this visit appeared in the media and social media the next day. The then jail department head Meeran Borwankar had ordered an internal inquiry into this visit. The inquiry had found that jail department officials had flouted rules, and in fact Hirani’s visit was illegal. The programme was called off a few hours before it was to begin and the authorities had cited security reasons for cancellation.
Dutt was kept in solitary confinement due to security reasons. Like many other prisoners, Dutt was classified as a semi-skilled worker and earned a daily wage of Rs 50 for making paper bags. And if the prison authorities were to be believed, he spent most of it buying items of daily need from the prison canteen.
In the last few months of his imprisonment, Dutt took a lot of interest in the daily programmes of the ‘Radio YCP.’
Dutt and his family members went to Mumbai by a chartered plane from Pune airport.