Actor Sanjay Dutt released early from jail: Maharashtra govt to explain why in 2 weeks
Mumbai city news: There are several convicts who secure a good conduct report from prison authorities, but are not granted early release, reads the PILUpdated: Jul 03, 2017 14:39 IST
The Bombay high court gave the Maharashtra government two weeks to brief the advocate general and to file an affidavit explaining why actor Sanjay Dutt was granted an early release from prison after he was convicted in connection with the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
In 2013, Dutt was sentenced to five years in Pune’s Yerwada prison for illegal possession and destruction of an AK-56 rifle. He had been out of prison for about six months owing to frequent furlough leaves and paroles. He was let out in February last year, eight months early, on account of his “good conduct”.
The court has been hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by activist Pradeep Bhalekar, challenging Dutt’s early release and questioning the frequent paroles he was granted. In his plea filed through his counsel, advocate Nitin Satpude, Bhalekar said there are several convicts who secure a good conduct report from the prison authorities, but are not granted remission or early release.
According to the plea, around 400 convicts currently in jails across the state have secured good conduct reports.
At the last hearing, a bench of justices RM Savant and Sadhana Jadhav had asked the government to file an affidavit detailing the “parameters considered, and the procedures followed” in arriving at the conclusion that Dutt deserved leniency.
“Was the deputy inspector general (prisons) consulted or did the jail superintendent directly send his recommendation to the governor? Isn’t there a uniform procedure followed for all prisoners who receive good conduct reports? ” the bench had asked.
“How did the authorities assess that Dutt’s conduct was good? When did they get the time to make such assessment when he was out on parole half the time?” it had said.
The state government had said that jail authorities consent to the early release of prisoners who display exemplary conduct while in jail. However, it had said the usual practice was to “grant them a remittance of 114 days” or three-and-a-half months.
The bench had asked the government to explain what special circumstances had earned Dutt such relief. “We just want to understand your decision making process,” the court had said.