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No statement issued on Sanjay Dutt’s release: Maharashtra prison department

Mumbai city news: The Bombay high court had asked the Maharashtra government to explain why it released actor Sanjay Dutt eight months early.

mumbai Updated: Jun 16, 2017 10:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Sanjay Dutt,Maharashtra prison department
The court wanted to know how the authorities determined that Dutt’s conduct was “good” if he had not been in jail half the time.(Ht File)

The Maharashtra prison department has refuted reports that it had told the state government that actor Sanjay Dutt was released from prison as per rules.

Additional director general (Prisons) BK Upadhay said, “No statement has been issued by the prison department In the Sanjay Dutt case, as the matter is subjudice.” While the deputy inspector general (DIG), prisons, Swati Sathe added, “The prison department has not released any statement to media regarding Sanjay Dutt’s matter. We will submit our stand to the High Court.”

The Bombay high court had, on June 12, asked the Maharashtra government to explain why it released actor Sanjay Dutt, who was serving a sentence over the 1993 bombings, eight months early. Dutt, sentenced in 2013 to five years in jail for illegally holding and destroying a rifle, was let out eight months early in February 2016 on account of what the government said was his “good conduct” in Yerwada prison. The bench of justice RM Savant and justice Sadhana Jadhav asked the government to file an affidavit detailing the “parameters considered, and the procedures followed” in arriving at the conclusion that Dutt deserved leniency.

Read: Sanjay Dutt was out on parole half the time, why did govt still release him early: Bombay HC

“Was the DIG 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 asked. “Also, 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?” the bench said.

The court was hearing a petition filed by activist Pradeep Bhalekar, challenging Dutt’s early release and questioning the frequent paroles granted to him while he was in jail.

Dutt was serving a five-year sentence in Yerawada central prison in Pune for illegal possession and destruction of an AK-56 rifle in 1993 serial blasts case. Even while he was serving the sentence, Dutt had been out of prison for about six months on frequent furlough leaves and parole.

First Published: Jun 14, 2017 15:45 IST