Pune: Jailed Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt will walk out a free man in the first week of March from the Yeravada Central Jail in 1993 Mumbai blasts case, official sources said here on Tuesday.
This comes days after Maharashtra Governor C V Rao rejected Dutt’s plea for pardon on September 15.
The governor had rejected the plea by retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Markandey Katju in March 2013, which came in the form of letters addressed to the president, the (then) prime minister, union home minister and other top officials.
“On September 15, Governor Rao declined the appeal and has forwarded his recommendation to the state government for further action,” an official, declining to be identified, told IANS.
While rejecting the pardon plea, the governor adhered to the state home ministry’s advice, on – among others – grounds that it could set a wrong precedent.
In his plea, Justice Katju had sought a pardon for Dutt on grounds that he was not a terrorist and also demanded pardon for elderly co-convict Zaibunissa Kazi.
Earlier, Dutt himself declared that he would not seek pardon from any quarter and abide by the Supreme Court verdict sending him to jail to serve the remainder of his five-year term at Yerawada Central Jail (YCJ), Pune.
According to current indications, Dutt is likely to complete his sentence and walk out of prison by the year-end or early 2016.
Dutt was convicted for his role in the March 12, 1993, Mumbai serial blasts and after his arrest in 1996 had spent 18 months in jail before getting bail.
In 2013, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment and was transferred to the Yerawada Central Jail for serving the remaining prison term of 42 months.
In the interim, the “Munnabhai M.B.B.S” actor was out four times on parole on various grounds and is currently released on furlough since August 27 for his daughter’s medical problems.
(With inputs from IANS)