Sanjay Dutt back in jail after furlough extension declined

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Mumbai/Pune: Film star Sanjay Dutt Saturday evening returned to Pune’s Yerawada Central Jail after the Maharashtra government rejected his application to extend his furlough by 14 days.

Dutt, whose 14-day furlough had begun Dec 24, returned to the jail around 5 p.m., an official said.

His lawyer Hitesh Jain earlier had told IANS that his application has been rejected and he will return to jail Saturday itself.

Prior to this departure, his family members, including wife Manyata, bid him a tearful farewell at his Bandra home.

Dutt briefly addressed the media and expressed his unhappiness over the controversy erupting each time he got furlough.

“Every prisoner is entitled to it and so am I. The authorities have done nothing wrong. They are doing it within the legal framework,” he said.

He castigated the media for accusing the government and jail authorities of meting out partial treatment to Dutt vis-a-vis others.

“I am also a common man. I respect the media and you should also respect me,” he commented before boarding his vehicle.

Dutt’s latest furlough of 14 days ended Thursday, but he did not return to the jail as the decision on his extension application of Dec 27 was pending.

Meanwhile, he continued to live with his family for the past three days.

On Thursday, Dutt, 55, flew to Pune and went up to jail, spent a few hours in the vicinity of the prison and later returned home in Mumbai. The development followed a confusion created by the utterances of some offials that it was not necessary for him to go back to jail till a decision was taken on his application for an extension.

Questions have been raised from several quarters about the repeated furloughs granted to the actor, including the latest 14-day leave which saw him attending a special show of the latest Aamir Khan megahit, “PK”, and celeb parties, while exhibiting his new set of eight abs built up in prison.

Earlier, Dutt was released on furlough in October 2013 for two weeks on health reasons, followed by a similar leave in December 2013 to tend to his ailing wife, Maanyata, attracting charges of favouritism.

In February last year, the Bombay High Court had commented on the diligence in granting the actor’s requests for furlough which was not visible in case of other convicts who applied for leave.

Dutt was convicted in 2007 for illegal possession of an AK-56 assault rifle during the 1992-1993 Mumbai communal conflagration before the March 12, 1993 serial bomb blasts in the city and sentenced to six years jail.

The Supreme Court had upheld the conviction in 2013 but reduced the sentence to five years, less the time already served.

Dutt surrendered on May 16, 2013, and was moved to the high-security jail in Pune to serve the remainder of his 42-month sentence.

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