Right on cue, as soon as the winter session came to an end, convicted Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt was finally released from Yerawada central jail on parole for 30 days on Saturday morning.
The 54-year-old had applied for a month’s parole saying he wanted to take care of his sick wife Maanyata who has complained of chest pain and sudden weight loss earlier this month. Her cardiologist Ajay Chaughule said that a large tumour had been detected in her liver and she was suffering from an irregular heartbeat.
Although Dutt had been granted parole a fortnight ago, on December 7, his release had become a topic of a political slug fest with the Opposition in the state assembly alleging that the actor was being given preferential treatment. The controversy had erupted after Dutt was allowed to leave prison for the second time in just three months. Dutt had already been granted a month-long furlough and had returned to jail on October 30.
Taking note of this, state home minister RR Patil had ordered an inquiry to ascertain the basis for granting parole to Dutt.
When dna asked deputy inspector general (prisons) Rajendra Dhamne about the inquiry report and why Dutt’s release was delayed, Dhamne refused to comment.
Meanwhile Yerawada jail officials have claimed that the actor was not released on December 8 as he did not complete the necessary procedures. Jail superintendent Yogesh Desai said, “After getting his parole order, we had to verify the actor’s documents besides completing formalities like furnishing surety and guarantors. These formalities were completed on Friday and after conducting his medical check-up, he was released on parole.” When asked why the verification took so long, Desai said, “It took time to crosscheck the guarantor’s documents.”
Meanwhile, a senor jail official, on condition of anonymity, told dna, “Since the Opposition had taken objection over the actor’s parole, we had been asked to release him after the winter session. As instructed, we have released him today (Saturday).”
The controversy erupted after Dutt was allowed to leave prison for the second time in just three months. Accusing the jail authorities of favouring Sanjay Dutt, activists belonging to the Republican Party of India (RPI) had even staged a demonstration in front of Yerawada central jail.
They had alleged that special treatment was being given to the actor as he was influential.