Parole extension to Sanjay Dutt: Maharashtra govt to amend law?
Zee Media Bureau
Mumbai: With the Bombay High Court questioning the extension of parole granted to actor Sanjay Dutt and the Centre seeking a report on the same, the government in Maharashtra is now mulling to amend the existing laws governing the parole system, reports said on Wednesday.
Reacting to the state government`s growing criticism and allegations of favouritism towards the actor, Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil today admitted that the misuse of the present law related to parole is possible and that`s why a need to amend the law is being felt.
“Few people take advantage of parole on the basis of medical certificates, we are now thinking to amend the law,” he said.
The reaction from the Maharashtra Home Minister came a day after the Bombay High Court questioned the repeated parole granted to 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 came a day after the Union Home Ministry sought a report from the Maharashtra government on the issue.
In a communication recently, 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.
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
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