The Maharashtra government on Monday filed an affidavit with the Bombay High Court justifying Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt’s early release, stating that it was done as per rules and that no special treatment was meted out to him.
The Bollywood actor - sentenced to five years for illegal possession of arms - was freed in February 2016, eight months and 16 days before he completed his jail term.
Advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni submitted the affidavit stating that Dutt displayed "good behaviour, and discipline while in jail,” participated in "institutional activities such as physical training, educational programmes” and "performed all allotted work in accordance with prescribed standards” thus earning early remission according to the "statutory rules.”
The report was submitted in response to a public interest litigation filed by Pune resident Pradeep Bhalekar, questioning the regular paroles and furloughs granted to Dutt when he was serving his sentence. Bhalekar, in his petition, alleged that Dutt was given undue favour by the prisons department by granting him remission.
"The Maharashtra Prisons (Remission System) Rules provide for remission of up to three days per month for good behaviour, discipline and so on. In the present matter at hand, as per the rules, the accused (Dutt) is entitled for 256 days remission which comes to eight months and 16 days," the report said.
The state claimed that on October 19, 2015, Dutt had filed an application requesting "special remission.” However, the state rejected the application in December 2015.
On February 25 2016, however, considering Dutt’s conduct, the state decided to let him out eight months and 16 days before he completed his five-year sentence.
The court, has asked the government to give details of the work Dutt did in prison to merit an early release. It has two weeks to respond.