Row erupts over Dutt's parole

Row erupts over Dutt's parole

A major controversy is brewing over actor Sanjay Dutt’s parole grant that will allow him to leave prison for the second time in a little over a month.

He had moved a parole appl­ic­ation on the grounds that he ne­eded to be with his wife Ma­anyata, who is unw­ell. However, newspapers on Saturday morning published photographs of Maanyata purportedly attending the screening of a film as also a celebrity birthday party, raising questions about Dutt’s claim regarding her illness. A group of Republican Party of India (RPI) activists on Saturday staged a demonstration outside the Yerawada Central Jail, protesting the likely release of the actor on parole.

Waving black flags and banners, RPI activists, led by distr­i­ct chief Sandeep Sasane, sh­o­u­­ted slogans demanding that Dutt’s parole be rejected.

Jail bharo warning

“We will organise a jail bharo agitation in Maharashtra if Dutt is gr­anted undue relief and given sp­ecial treatment,” a sp­o­ke­s­m­an said.

A lawyer representing Pervez Shaikh, one of the convicts in the 1993 serial blasts, too, deprecated the move.

Maanyata has tumour in liver: Doctor

A doctor who examined Sanjay Dutt’s wife has said that Maanyata has been diagnosed with a tumour in the liver and a suspected heart ailment. “She has a tumour in her liver and had chest pain and has lost 10 kg in 15-20 days. We have advised her to undergo certain tests for heart ailment. Once the tests are done, we can decide whether surgery is required or not,” Dr Ajay Chaughule said.

“While I am not being allowed to meet Pervez Shaikh to seek further instructions, Dutt, who has be­e­n convicted for conspiracy under the Arms Act is allowed to leave jail on the grounds of his wife’s ill health,” he said.

“The authorities have discretionary powers and they are taking advantage of those discretionary powers,” he added. A daughter of Zebunnisa Qazi, also convicted in the case, lamented that despite her mother’s old age and frail health, her application for parole made in July had been rejected. “My mother is 90 years old. She should get parole now as other people are getting it on normal medical grounds. I hope authorities will be much more lenient this time,” she said.

Pune Divisional Commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh on Friday granted parole to the actor on the recommendation of prison authorities.

Taking note of the controversy, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil has ordered an inquiry to ascertain the basis of Dutt’s parole grant. “The parole has been granted by the divisional commissioner. We are looking into the matter and have sought documents which formed the basis for allowing his release on parole,” Patil told reporters.

Dutt is undergoing the remainder of his five-year jail term for possession of illegal firearms, that was part of a cache of weapons meant to be used during the 1993 blasts.

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