Sanjay Dutt can be sent back to jail says, Maharashtra government

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Maharashtra Advocate General today told the Bombay High Court that no norms were flouted in granting remission to actor Sanjay Dutt but if the court felt otherwise, "it can send Dutt back to jail".

Kumbhakoni also said that no rules were fluted in releasing Dutt from prison eight months before his five-year sentence was due to end - and that the court could order Dutt to be "sent back to prison" if it found otherwise.

The court has sought to know the basis and criteria for his remission on good conduct, how "good conduct and behaviour" are ascertained as he was granted repeated paroles and furloughs during his incarceration, something rarely permitted to other convicts, and directed the government to file a detailed affidavit on this within a fortnight.

Hindustan Times reported that a bench comprising justices RM Savant and Sadhana Jadhav questioned the frequency of paroles and furloughs granted to Dutt while he was incarcerated at Yerwada Jail. The state government had earlier this month submitted a report to the High Court clarifying that no special treatment was given to the actor.

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Dutt's repeated paroles during the imprisonment had made the court further suspicious about the decision. The state administration said it had no objection to sending Dutt back to prison if the court thought that his early release violated rules.

The court, however, clarified that it did not intend to "set the clock back in time", and only wanted to ascertain that due process of law was followed while releasing the 57-year-old actor from prison before he completed his five-year prison term. The court noted that Dutt surrendered in May 2013 and filed applications seeking to be released on furlough and parole in July, which were confirmed. During his jail sentence, Dutt was out on parole for quite a few times.

The Maharashtra government had said that the actor's "good behaviour" in the jail was the reason for cutting down his imprisonment. Dutt was convicted for illegal possession and destruction of an AK-56 rifle during 1993 serial blasts case.

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