Presently serving five-year sentence in Pune's high-security Yerawada Central Prison, Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who is convicted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case for illegitimate possession and destruction of an AK-56 rifle, is probably all set to be released from jail on February 25-27, 2016. The release, (if it will happen) will be around 100 days earlier than the official end of his prison term, and will be on the grounds of his ‘good conduct’.
Recently, the Maharashtra government cleared a proposal for remission of his sentence. Dutt was seized under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act in April 1993, due to illegal possession of a 9mm pistol and an AK-56 assault rifle. The 56-year-old actor was under arrest during the mid-90’s and spent 18 months behind bars before walking out on bail. After spending nearly 18 months in jail, he was acknowledged bail in April 1995. In July 2007, he was again sentenced to six years brutal custody, along with his previous term of 18 months. The Supreme Court of India, in a judgement on 21 March 2013, condemned Dutt of illegal possession of arms relating to the 1993 Mumbai blasts case and sentenced him to five years imprisonment. The actor is presently completing the remaining prison term of 42 months. After he was sent to Yerawada jail in May 2013, Dutt had been out on parole twice and an equal number of times on layoff.
Bollywood has in general welcomed the news, while Dutt’s wife Manyata had earlier said he could be released early considering a convict’s right to absolution, his co-star in Munnabhai series, Arshad Warsi, made complementary claims, saying he had also heard that Dutt would be out by February and that they would start shooting on the sequel of the movie afterwards. Amid others filmmakers like Sanjay Gupta, Mukesh Bhatt said that they are glad on hearing the news that actor Sanjay Dutt will certainly walk out of jail this February.
However, according to a petition filed in the Bombay high court on Thursday (7th January) has sought to restrain the Maharashtra government from releasing Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, sentenced to five years in jail in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, before the end of his prison term. It will be interesting to see, whether the actor can see an early exit.