In a major setback for Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, the Bombay High Court on Monday questioned the government about the procedure followed to approve actor’s early release from jail, Press Trust of India reported. As per the report, Dutt, who was sentenced to five years imprisonment possession of arms, was released in February 2016, eight months early, on account of his good conduct while in Pune’s Yerwada prison. The actor was sentenced to jail-term in connection with 1993 blasts case. Dutt, who was on bail during the trial, had surrendered in May 2013 after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction. A PTI report said that a division bench of Mumbai High Court, during the hearing of a public interest litigation by Pune resident Pradeep Bhalekar, asked the procedure followed to grant the early release. Bhalekar had challenged the regular paroles and furloughs granted to Dutt when he was serving his sentence. “Was the DIG, Prisons, consulted or did the jail superintendent directly send his recommendation to the governor?” 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 justice was quoted as asking by PTI.
The Munna Bhai MBBS actor, after release from jail, had stated that he is not a terrorist and wants to leave behind the bitter memories of being convicted in connection with the 1993 serial blasts case. “I am not a terrorist. I have been acquitted of charges of TADA and conspiracy.
The Supreme Court had also acquitted me under (IPC) section 120-B of conspiracy and TADA. I got the sentence under the Arms Act,” the 56-year-old actor said. “I request the media that whenever they write or mention anything about me, don’t write 1993 blasts case before my name… I’m not into it,” Sanjay Dutt said.