Sanjay Dutt’s parole ends, returns to Pune Yerawada jail

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt will be back in jail on Saturday morning since his extended parole ended on Friday. According to reports, Dutt did not seek any further extension as he has exhausted his two legally permissible 30-day extensions under the prison rules.

Dutt is serving a five-year sentence of rigorous imprisonment for illegal possession and destruction of an AK-56 rifle before the March 12, 1993 Mumbai blasts in which more than 250 people were killed and several hundreds were wounded.

After surrendering in May last year, within four months, the actor was out from the jail for a month in October. He returned to jail only to be granted parole on December 6, 2013, on grounds that his wife Manyata was not well and was in need of medical care. The 55-year-old actor paid his Rs 5,000 surety on December 20, 2013, when the winter state assembly session ended and reportedly walked out of prison. His wife, Manyata, was hospitalized in January, following complaints of lung complications when doctors removed fluids from her lungs.

The actor had sought two parole extensions since then, which ended on Friday. According to a source, Manyata is back at their Bandra residence and although her health is stable, she is still undergoing treatment at home.

According to reports, the government’s decision to allow repeated parole to actor Sanjay Dutt has triggered a debate, forcing the home department to amend the rules. Home Minister of Maharashtra R R Patil reportedly said, “Frankly speaking, we cannot interfere in the sanctioning of parole. As per the rules, if a panel of doctors issues a certificate of any illness and convicts produce it to avail parole, it will have to be granted.”

He said, “To ensure individuals are not misusing the parole to escape jail, the new rules will incorporate a clause whereby it will be mandatory to complete the scheduled tenure.”

Giving an example, he added, “If a convict has to serve six years’ term, and if he has availed 250 days’ parole beyond the sanctioned limits, he will have to serve additional 250 days.” The minister thinks that this will stop convicts from misusing the parole facility.

But Patil reportedly refused to comment on the parole granted to Dutt. “It is difficult to ascertain whether it is a genuine cause or someone is misusing the rules,” he was quoted as saying.