Dutt on parole, but reason not valid any more

  • Surendra P Gangan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 06, 2016 11:34 IST

While actor Sanjay Dutt has been granted a 30-day parole, the reason why he got the emergency leave — for his daughter Iqra’s nose surgery — does not exist anymore, thanks to the five-month delay by the authorities.

Dutt, who is currently serving his term in Yerwada jail in Pune, had applied for the leave in March, and the surgery was conducted in April-May.

The divisional commissioner took a decision on the actor’s parole application last week. “The parole was given on grounds mentioned in the application made in March. The prison administration must have followed the due process of scrutiny for medical grounds,” said Hitesh Jain, Dutt’s lawyer.

Although the decision was expected in 45 days, the officer concerned failed to do so, compelling the actor’s lawyer to approach the government.

Jain had, through a letter on July 29, urged the home department to intervene and direct the Pune divisional commissioner (the competent authority in the matter) to act on the application. The government then issued directives, after which the decision was taken.

Sources close to the actor confirmed the surgery has been conducted, but the child may need medical care, for which Dutt’s presence was needed. Jain, however, refused to comment on the surgery, saying it was a personal matter. Dutt’s publicist, too, refused to comment on the issue.

Now questions are being raised if exemption can be given for a reason which does not exist. “The decision is taken based on the documents submitted with the application. According to the norms, he [the divisional commissioner] is not expected to personally check if the medical urgency still exists,” said Vijay Satbir Singh, principal secretary, home,

Another officer from the department said the responsibility of proving the reason has not lost its urgency is the applicant’s. He said although there will be no change in the decision on parole, the actor may face problem if the submitted documents have discrepancies.

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