Sanjay Dutt, who walked out of Pune’s Yerawada jail on Thursday, did not spend his entire five-year term incarcerated in jail. Thanks to paroles and furloughs, he left his prison cell several times in between to spend time with his family instead.
For reasons as varied as his back ache to his daughter’s nose surgery, Dutt got out of jail at least on six occasions, spending a total of 164 days outside.
The actor was sentenced to five years in jail for possessing an AK-56 supplied by gangsters involved in the serial blasts that rocked Mumbai in 1993.
Of the 1,825 days he was to spend in jail, Dutt finally spent 1,445 days in prison. He walked free after being given a remission of 60 days for good conduct and having earned 156 leave while in jail. Both were deducted from his jail term.
Furlough is the annual 14 days leave that prisoners are eligible for provided the police give a no objection certificate. It is normally given for attending urgent work and also done to keep the prisoner in touch with the outside world and his family.
A parole is given to a prisoner in case of an emergency like attending the funeral of a family member.
Critics say Dutt was given repeated paroles and furloughs because of his celebrity status, entitlements that are normally not extended to a vast majority of convicts crowding the country’s jails.
In October 2013, Dutt first got out of jail for 14 days citing his back ache. It was extended by another two weeks.
Two months later, in December, he got out again on parole for 30 days to attend to his ailing wife. He secured two extensions and stayed out of jail for 90 days.
In December 2014, he was allowed to stay outside for 14 days for “ringing in the New Year” with his family.” He sought an extension, but had to return hastily to the jail barracks after a public outcry.