Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt , currently serving five-year sentence in Yerawada central prison in Pune for illegal possession and destruction of an AK-56 rifle in 1993 serial blasts case, is set to released from jail on February 25 on the grounds of ‘good conduct’. The release will be 103 days ahead of the official end of his prison term.
Sources said the home department on Tuesday approved the proposal to give the actor, currently lodged in Yerawada central prison, the benefits of remittance for good conduct. Sources in the state secretariat said Dr Ranjit Patil, the minister of state home, cleared the proposal. Patil, however, has not given an official confirmation that the proposal was cleared. He did not deny it either.
HT had reported on December 9 last year that Dutt is likely to be released on February 25.
Dutt was convicted in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case for possessing illegal weapons and sentenced to five years in jail. He had already served 18 months before the verdict was pronounced. The actor is serving 42 months of his remaining jail term, after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction in 2013. The state home department, said sources, believes Dutt should be given all benefits of remittance a prisoner gets for good behaviour while serving a sentence. The only hitch was pertaining to a two-day delay by Dutt in returning to jail after being granted a 14-day furlough in December 2014. While he was expected to report back to jail on January 7 (2015), he had sought an extension of furlough (an extension of 14 days is allowed) from jail authorities. The jail authorities, however, delayed taking a decision on his application and informed Dutt about it being rejected only on January 9 (2015).
Dutt was given a clean chit for this delay, after an inquiry into the matter. The home department had even served a memo to two officials from the Yerwada central prison for the delay in making a decision.
Based on the outcome of the inquiry, the proposal for giving him the benefits was sent to the minister’s office for a final nod.