Sanjay Dutt set to walk free on February 27


Mumbai: Bollywood’s prominent veteran actor Sanjay Dutt is all set to walk free from Yerwada jail in Pune on February 27 after been given clean chit by Maharashtra government.

Incarcerated Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, whose five-year sentence for his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts was confirmed by the Supreme Court in March 2013, will be freed on February 27, official sources said.

Minister for State (Home) Ranjit Patil signed the file allowing Dutt’s release, without penalising him for reporting late from his furlough in January 2015.

Dutt was acquitted of terror charges under the TADA but found guilty of possessing illegal arms, acquired apparently to protect his family during the communal conflagration that engulfed Mumbai after the demolition of the Babri Mosque on December 6, 1992.

Of the five-year sentence, the actor had already served 18 months as an undertrial and was required to undergo another 42 months, which is now on the verge of completing.

Sources say the abatement has been granted on grounds of good behaviour.

Last year, former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju’s petition in 2013 to pardon Sanjay Dutt was rejected. Sources had said that Governor Vidyasagar Rao rejected the petition on the recommendation of the Maharashtra home department, which feared to set a bad precedent since the actor’s sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court. Also, the actor’s continuous breaks from jail have earlier been criticised as a testimony of VIP treatment.

More than 118 days have been spent out of prison by Mr Dutt between May 2013 and 2014.

It was claimed by him that possession of weapons was necessary to protect himself and his family from the deadly riots which were the aftermath of a series of bombs that exploded Mumbai city’s landmarks.

(Inputs from Agencies)