Maharashtra Government to Investigate Sanjay Dutt’s Absence from Jail Again And Again
The Maharashtra Government has said that it will look into the 14-day furlough – a temporary leave of absence – granted to actor Sanjay Dutt. Furlough allowed Dutt to leave jail once again on Christmas Eve. This is the second year in a row that he will be celebrating the New Year in his home.
Mr Dutt left Yerwada Jail on December 24 for Mumbai. He has already spent more than 118 days out of jail, either on parole or furlough, from May 2013 to May 2014. Mr Dutt is serving a five-year sentence from last year, after he was convicted by the Supreme Court for illegal possession of arms in connection with the 1993 Bombay Blasts.
The actor has to serve three and a half years in jail. He had already spent 18 months as an undertrial. He has starred in the recent Bollywood release PK.
The Minister of State for Home Ram Shinde yesterday said that, “If Sanjay Dutt is granted leave over and over again, then we will inquire about all the other criminals who are serving their sentence and who wanted leaves and weren’t given any. We will find out and not let injustice happen to them. The report that I have asked of my department will not favor anyone, this cannot happen and if indeed happened, then we will set an inquiry.”
Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) Meeran Borvankar said about his furlough that “We have released Sanjay Dutt on furlough of 14 days on Wednesday at 9 AM. The furlough is a right of every prisoner. I do not know what reason Sanjay Dutt has given for furlough. When the police report on his furlough application came, we released him.”
The actor can extend the furlough for another 14 days, if needed. He was granted the first parole of 14 days in October last year, which was extended for another 14 days so that he could undergo treatment for his leg pain.
He was granted a 30-day parole again last year in December, which was extended twice citing his wife Maanyata’s illness. The Bombay High Court told the government in February that the meticulousness shown in granting the requests made by the actor was not seen in the cases of other convicts. The Centre also questioned the extended leave for Sanjay Dutt from jail.
The furlough is granted periodically to a prisoner to allow the prisoner to retain family and social ties and avoid the ill-effects of continuous prison life.