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Authorities yet to decide Dutt's prison

Mumbai, May 20, 2013, DHNS: 1:11 IST
 Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt reaches the designated TADA court to surrender in the 1993 serial blasts case in Mumbai on Thursday. PTI Photo
Prison officials have decided to keep the electronic media, camped outside the Arthur Road Jail where actor Sanjay Dutt is currently lodged, waiting by delaying the final decision as to where he would complete his jail term.

According to sources, the reason behind this vacillation is due to the fact that the actor had earlier moved the court requesting permission to surrender at Pune’s Yerawada Jail, as he wanted to keep the electronic media at bay. The plea, however, was rejected.

On Sunday, Additional Director-General of Police (Prisons) Meeran Borwankar told the media in Pune that authorities have decided to take more time on the issue. The actor would not be shifted anywhere in the near future as Arthur Road Jail also has cells that have been used in the past by convicts for serving their term.

Notwithstanding Borwankar’s statement, roads near Arthur Road Jail in south-central Mumbai remained choc-a-bloc with OB vans and television reporters refusing to leave.
Borwankar also smirked at rumours that Dutt has been lodged in an “anda” or solitary cell and that the actor was suffering from damp heat there.

Prison authorities said the actor, as per rules, has not been put in the solitary cell but in the transit barracks where convicts awaiting transfer to one of the five prisons in the state where sentenced inmates are lodged.

In March, the apex court sentenced the actor to five years’ imprisonment for possessing prohibited arms that were smuggled in the consignment used for carrying out the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.

Though the Supreme Court, on a plea by Dutt, gave him one month additional time to surrender, it dismissed another plea seeking a review of the sentence. On Thursday, as per the order, Dutt surrendered before the designated Tada court after which he was sent to Arthur Road Jail.

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