Centre questions Maharashtra on Sanjay Dutt's furloughs

Centre questions Maharashtra on Sanjay Dutt's furloughs

With Sanjay Dutt having been granted repeated furloughs the Centre has sought a report from the Maharashtra government questioning the grounds on which the state has taken a relaxed approach with the actor, who has been sentenced to 6 years imprisonment and is a convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

In a letter to the state, the Union Home Ministry asked the Maharashtra government to clarify why the actor was granted three paroles in less than a year.

Dutt was convicted by the Supreme Court for illegal possession of arms in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

He is the son of late Union Minister and Congress MP Sunil Dutt, who was once a towering figure in Bollywood. The jailed actor’s sister Priya Dutt is a Congress MP.

Dutt has been out on parole since December 21 and was yet to return to the Yerawada Jail in Pune on February 21.

He had applied for parole again on the ground that he needs to attend to his ailing wife and look after his twin children.

It is also reported that his application was approved with his parole being extended to March 21.

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday is also expected to hear a petition questioning the discretion used by authorities in granting parole and furlough to Dutt.

Earlier, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil had said the state government will investigate allegations that the actor was being provided alcohol in jail.

Last October, a move by a group of people, including Press Council Chairman Justice Markandeya Katju, sought a reduction of Dutt's sentence triggering a controversy.

The Supreme Court in March had reduced his sentence to five years from six years after he was found guilty of keeping an automatic rifle in his house, which was part of the arms brought in by terrorists who carried out the 1993 strikes in Mumbai.

Dutt, who was to undergo punishment for 42 months as he had already served 18 months of his jail term earlier, did not get relief from the apex court when he approached it for the commutation of his sentence.

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