Crime

BHC: How did the Jail authorities assess Dutta’s good behaviour?

June 13, 2017 07:33 AM
Actor Sanjay Dutt (file pic)

Mumbai: The court was hearing a PIL plea challenging regular paroles and furloughs granted to the actor when he was serving his sentence.

Months after actor Sanjay Dutt walked out of yerwada Jail, the Bombay High Court on Monday directed the State to file an affidavit on what ground he was let out eight months before time.

Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Nitin Satpute said, “What was the good behaviour and conduct that were held as the ground for granting him remission and reducing his sentence? What about all the other convicts, especially those in petty offences, who are rotting in jail? They have also filed applications seeking remission, but there has been no order on those.”

A Division Bench of Justice R.M. Sawant and Justice Sadhana Jadhav was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Pradeep Bhalekar, chairperson of Samajik Karyakarta Saurakhan Samiti. The petition alleged that Mr. Dutt was given a special treatment by being allowed to go scot-free. There are 27,740 prisoners in the state who deserve to be released on the same ground. The petition also said the actor has already benefited a lot from furlough and parole.

“The remission granted to Mr. Dutt is wrong and illegal,” said the PIL.

Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Nitin Satpute said, “What was the good behaviour and conduct that were held as the ground for granting him remission and reducing his sentence? What about all the other convicts, especially those in petty offences, who are rotting in jail? They have also filed applications seeking remission, but there has been no order on those.”

The court directed the government to file an affidavit on what defines good behaviour and who is the sanctioning authority of the pre-mature release. “Was the Deputy Inspector General of Police consulted or did the jail superintendent directly send his recommendations to the Governor? How did the authorities assess good behaviour?” The matter was adjourned to July 3.A day after the jail superintendent announced that Mr. Dutt would be let out on February 25, 2016, Mr. Bhalekar had written a letter to acting Chief Justice V.K. Tahilaramani about this.

According to the Maharashtra Home Department, he was given remission (reduction of sentence) on account of good conduct. During his time in jail, Mr. Dutt was granted parole of 90 days in December 2013 and later for 30 days.

The actor was convicted for illegal possession of an automatic assault rifle, part of cache of arms and ammunition that landed ahead of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts in which 257 people were killed.

 

 

 

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