Responding to a Public Litigation Investigation (PIL), the high court questioned Maharashtra government and Pune Yerwada Jail authorities about the reasons for granting Dutt extended paroles. The PIL, filed by a judge, asked, "What is the point of rules and regulations if a convict can enjoy 105 days outside the jail?"
The high court also asked the state government to form a committee headed by chief secretary to give opinion on amendments on Parole Act. The committee report should be submitted within four weeks, added the court.
State govt would not have shown this diligence if convict were a common man
The high court on Tuesday also asserted that the state government would not have shown this diligence in cases where convict is a common man. It also held that the state should exercise its discretionary powers properly and should not discriminate.
Earlier the state government received a notice from Centre regarding extended parole to Dutt, a convict of Bombay blast 1993 case. The centre asked the state government to explain repeated parole given to the actor who is serving a six year jail term in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.
The Home Ministry has written to the state government asking why the 54-year-old actor has been given the special privilege of parole thrice in the 9 months he has been in jail.
Dutt was convicted by the Supreme Court of illegal possession of arms and was sentenced to six years of imprisonment. He had earlier served 18 months. He surrendered before a Mumbai court in May to serve the remaining term.
Dutt has been out on parole since December 21 and was to return to the Yerawada Jail in Pune on February 21. Reports said his parole was extended again till March 21 on his request to be with his wife Manyata, who is said to be unwell, and his twin children.
The Bombay High Court is also expected to take up on February 25, a petition that questions the grounds on which the authorities have granting parole and furlough to the actor.
Earlier, Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil had said the state government will investigate allegations that the actor was being provided alcohol in jail.