Congress MP Priya Dutt has said her brother, Sanjay Dutt, applied for parole according to rules and she was not involved in his being granted the temporary release.
“I know this question comes up, and it is not connected to me politically. It is very sad when people ask me these questions; they do not even know the rules,” she said in an interview to The Hindu.
Ms. Dutt was speaking for the first time on the multiple parole extensions given to the Bollywood actor, who was convicted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and lodged in the Yerawada jail in Pune.
In October 2013, he was granted a month’s furlough, 14 days at a time, and was later granted parole thrice for a total of 90 days on the ground that his wife was unwell. The Bharatiya Janata Party alleged that Mr. Dutt got preferential treatment since his sister was a Congress MP.
But Ms. Dutt said her brother had followed the rules.
“He is my brother. I will always stand by him. But the fact is that he applied for parole through his lawyers with the necessary documents. It was someone else’s decision to grant it. I cannot understand why such a big thing is being made of it.”
She pointed out that parole applications were subjected to scrutiny. “When you apply for parole, you have to fit certain criteria. You have to give the necessary details. The authorities correspond with you back and forth. They often return the papers with questions which have to be answered. Parole is granted only when they are satisfied,” Ms. Dutt said.
Responding to the Opposition criticism, she said, “When people raise these questions, it is really out of ignorance. Do they know how many people get parole, for how many people it gets extended? Do they know the difference between parole and furlough? I don’t even answer this question because I don’t think I need to.”