Actor Sanjay Dutt can finally heave a sigh of relief as the Bombay High Court said that it hasn’t found any violation on part of the state in the early release of Dutt. He was released eight months before the completion of his five-year sentence in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case. A bench of Justices S C Dharamadhikari and Bharati Dangre made the observation.
The bench observed that the state government had succeeded in backing its claims of impartiality in the case with valid documents from the Home department.
“We found nothing contrary in the records submitted by the state Home department and the explanation offered by the state. No violations or abuse of discretionary powers were detected,” the bench said.
Consequently, the HC rejected a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that challenged the reduction of Dutt’s sentence and the “frequent parole and furlough” leaves given to Dutt when he was serving his sentence at the Yerwada prison in Pune. The PIL stated that Dutt was granted parole and furlough, whereas, many other inmates, who displayed good behavior, weren’t treated the same. These charges were denied by the state government.
Nevertheless, HC instructed that the state should design a scheme where all parole and furlough applications made by convicts henceforth be decided upon quickly, with efficiency and in a transparent manner. “The public or the inmates themselves must not get the impression that the authorities grant favours in allowing parole and furlough,” the bench said.
To show that the it had followed due procedure, the state government, on a previous hearing, had submitted a chart of the number of days and the dates Dutt remained out of jail on parole and furlough. It also provided with the reasons for doing so. The fact that no inmate from the Yerwada prison alleged complaints of undue favours towards Dutt was noted by the bench.