Zee Media Bureau
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday questioned the extension of parole granted to actor Sanjay Dutt, convicted in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.
“The state should exercise its discretionary powers properly and should not discriminate,” the HC said.
It also said that the state government would not have shown this diligence in cases where convict is a common man.
The observations by the HC comes a day after the Union Home Ministry sought a report from the Maharashtra government on the issue.
In a communication yesterday, the Centre had asked the Maharashtra government to clarify whether Dutt was accorded any special privileges while accepting his parole request thrice within eight months since he was lodged in the Yerawada Central Jail in Pune.
Confirming the development, Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil had said the state government would send its reply to the central government soon.
Asked whether convicts took advantage of the parole system, Patil had said it pertains to certain legal issues and he has sought details on this from the additional chief secretary in the Home Ministry.
Dutt, 54, has been sentenced to serve the remaining 42 months of his five-year prison term after he was found guilty in the March 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.
He returned to the Pune jail May 18, 2013, and subsequently was granted parole on several occasions, creating a controversy. Currently, Dutt is out on parole since Dec 21 and will remain outside jail till March 21.
Prior to this, he was released on a fortnight-long furlough, which was extended by another fortnight in October 2013.
The reasons Dutt cited were personal medical grounds and later his wife Maanyata`s poor health condition as she suffers from multiple heart and liver ailments and underwent a surgery last month at a Mumbai hospital.
Meanwhile, reacting to its criticism for giving special treatment to Dutt, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had said, "The law is same for all.”
With PTI inputs