"Sanjay Dutt was treated like an ordinary convict", Maha govt tells Bombay HC
The Maharashtra government on Monday told the Bombay High Court that actor Sanjay Dutt 'deserved an early release'. In an affidavit, the Maharashtra government justifying early release of Sanjay Dutt said that the actor displayed 'good behaviour and discipline while in jail.'
The Devendra Fadnavis government justified its decision to release the popular actor early from the Yerwada Jail. Dutt was convicted for his role in the 1993 blasts case. "Sanjay Dutt displayed good behaviour and discipline while in jail, participated in institutional activities such as physical training, educational programmes and performed all allotted work in accordance with prescribed standards, thus earning early remission according to the statutory rules," said the affidavit submitted by Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni.
Sanjay Dutt who was sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 25,000 was released from Yerwada jail on February 25, 2016, eight months earlier than his jail time. The Maharashtra government told the court that Dutt had been in jail as an undertrial prisoner for one year, four months and two days. He was lodged in jail again in 2007 for two months and three days. between 2013 and 2016, Sanjay Dutt served two years three months and 25 days in jail. However, between 2013 and 2016 he was out on parole for four months and also got furlough leave for one and a half months.
"For all this time put together, Dutt received a total ordinary and annual remission of eight months and 16 days," the affidavit submitted by the government claimed.
How Maharashtra government added up numbers
According to rules, a convict can earn three days of remission every month if he or she follows prison rules and display exemplary conduct. Another three days of remission (ordinary) is given to each inmate every month which is added to annual remission of 30 days. Such remissions, however, are not allowed while the convict is out of prison on parole or furlough. Attempting to justify this point, the affidavit stated that Dutt was given parole according to rules which cannot exceed 30 days. It is the discretion of the authorities to grant parole during emergencies. Sanjay Dutt was given parole thrice for his wife's medical treatment and once for his daughter's.
The affidavit states that in 2013, Dutt was given a remission of 35 days. In 2014, Dutt was out on parole, so his remission was only 100 days while in 2015, he was out on furlough and his total remission was only for 107 days. Just before his release in 2016, since he had spent one month in jail, he received a remission of seven days.
The state government told the Bombay High Court that Sanjay Dutt was not given the benefit of ordinary remission when he was on parole and furlough leave like any other convict.