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Good Conduct Earned Sanjay Dutt Early Release From Jail, Maharashtra Govt Tells Bombay HC

In an affidavit, the government said remission was done as per rules and no special treatment was given to Sanjay Dutt.

Updated:July 17, 2017, 4:44 PM IST
Good Conduct Earned Sanjay Dutt Early Release From Jail, Maharashtra Govt Tells Bombay HC
Sanjay Dutt was released from Yerwada prison in Pune in February, 2016. (Image: Yogen Shah)
Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Sunday filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court to justify its decision to grant an early release to actor Sanjay Dutt, who was convicted for his role in the 1993 blasts case, saying that the remission was done as per rules and no special treatment was given to him.

Dutt was sentenced to five years in jail for possession of arms, which were a part of the consignment used in the 1993 blasts. The actor, who was on bail during the trial, had surrendered in May 2013 after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction. He was let out in February 2016, eight months early, on account of his good conduct while in Pune's Yerwada prison.

Advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni submitted the report before a bench of Justices R M Savant and Sadhana Jadhav, saying Dutt 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 public interest litigation filed by Pune resident Pradeep Bhalekar, questioning the regular paroles and furloughs granted to Dutt when he was serving his sentence. Bhalekar, in his petition, had alleged that Dutt was given undue favour by the prisons department by granting him remission.

"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,” the report said.

The report 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 "conduct and behaviour" of the accused. Dutt was released from jail on February 25, 2016, the report said.

The high court perused the report and posted the petition for further hearing after two weeks. During the investigation and the marathon trial, Dutt spent one year and four months in jail as an undertrial. On July 31, 2007, the TADA court in Mumbai sentenced him to six years’ rigorous imprisonment under the Arms Act and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000.

In 2013, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling but reduced the sentence to five years following which he surrendered to serve the remainder of his sentence. During his imprisonment, he was granted parole for 90 days in December 2013 and for 30 days later.

(With inputs from agencies)
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