Sanjay Dutt to walk free today, activist files plea to stay release
Exactly six months ago, Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt was spotted at Mumbai’s Khar police station sporting a black shirt and a fresh haircut after being let out of jail on a 30-day parole.
And Wednesday would likely be the last day the actor, popular for his role as a do-good gangster in the Munnabhai films, would spend time in prison after being found guilty of illegal possession of guns supplied by the masterminds of the 1993 Mumbai blasts.
Jail officials confirmed that the 56-year-old— who has been surrounded by a slew of controversies sparked by accusations that he availed of irregular remission in his five-year sentence and was accorded special treatment by authorities— will be released on Thursday morning.
It would come as a major relief for Dutt’s family too which has seen him walk in and out of police stations, custody, courts and jails over the last two decades. Sources said his sister Priya Dutt and others have been camping in Pune since Wednesday to bring the actor back home on a chartered flight.
But avowed social activist Pradeep Bhalekar could spoil the celebrations as he filed a plea in the Bombay high court, seeking a stay on Dutt’s release.
Bhalekar questioned the decision by prison authorities and the state to grant relief to the actor based on his “good conduct” in prison.
The PIL says several convicts secure good-conduct reports from prison authorities but are not granted remission or early release.
About 400 convicts in jails across the state have got such certificates, the plea says.
Bhalekar has also said that about five years ago, he was “convicted and imprisoned for a petty offence” and received a good-conduct report but, despite pleas, was not granted an early release.
The petitioner will state his PIL before a high court bench on Thursday morning.