Bombay HC Questions Actor Sanjay Dutt’s Early Release From Jail

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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court asks Maharashtra government to justify its decision to allow actor Sanjay Dutt to leave jail early in 2016 before he completed his five year sentence.

He was freed eight months ahead of schedule, for “good behavior.”

Mr Dutt was allowed to leave jail more than once and spent over 100 days outside, raising concerns of whether he was being allowed VIP treatment.

“Also, how did the authorities assess that Dutt’s conduct was good? When did they get the time to make such assessment when he was out on parole half the time?” asked a judge at the Bombay High Court, ordering the government to furnish its answer at a hearing next week.

The case is based on a Public Interest Litigation or PIL.

Mr Dutt, 57, was convicted in 2013 by the Supreme Court of acquiring illegal guns from the men convicted of the serial bombings in Mumbai in 1993 in which more than 250 people were killed.

In 2007, Mr Dutt, whose most recent success came from the Munnnabhai films, was cleared of conspiracy charges in the Mumbai serial blasts but was found guilty of illegal possession of an AK-56 rifle and a pistol, which he claimed he required to protect his family during a period of rioting in the city.

The actor spent 18 months in prison, but was released on bail till the Supreme Court ordered him back to the Yerwada prison in Pune for the remaining 42 months of his sentence.

Rajkumar Hirani, who directed him in the Munnabhai films, is making a biopic on him with actor Ranbir Kapoor playing Mr Dutt.