Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has said it will investigate the 14-day furlough – a temporary leave of absence – granted to actor Sanjay Dutt, which allowed him to leave jail yet again on Christmas eve.
Minister of State for Home Ram Shinde said today, “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.”
The furlough means that the actor, who has starred in the latest big Bollywood release PK, spends the New Year out of jail the second year in a row.
The actor is serving a five-year jail term after being convicted in May 2013 for illegal possession of arms in connection with the 1993 Mumbai blast. He came out of Pune’s Yerwada Central Jail on Wednesday after being granted the furlough.
Sanjay Dutt reportedly spent over 118 days out of jail, either on parole or furlough between May 2013 and May 2014. He is meant to serve three and a half years in jail; he had already served 18 months as an undertrial.
On his release on furlough this week, Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) Meeran Borvankar said, “We have released Sanjay Dutt on furlough of 14 days today at 9 AM. 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.”
Dutt can extend the furlough for another 14 days
The actor was first granted a 14-day parole in October last year, which was extended for another 14 days so that he undergo treatment for leg pain.
He was again granted a 30-day parole last year in December which was extended twice on account of his wife Maanyata’s illness.
In February this year, the Bombay High Court told the government that the diligence shown in granting the actor’s requests was not seen in the cases of other convicts. The Centre too had then questioned the extended leave from jail for Sanjay Dutt.
Furlough can be granted periodically to a prisoner to allow him or her to retain family and social ties and avoid the ill-effects of continuous prison life.