Mumbai: In what could amount to new trouble for actor Sanjay Dutt, the Maharashtra government has been told today to justify its decision to allow him to leave jail early last year before he completed his five-year sentence.
- Actor Sanjay Dutt released 8 months early from prison last year
- Government said his "good behaviour" merited its decision
- Bombay High Court gives government 3 weeks to justify decision
He was freed eight months ahead of schedule for "good behaviour."
Mr Dutt was allowed to leave jail more than once and spent over 100 days outside, raising concerns of whether he was being allowed VIP treatment. "Also, how did the authorities assess that Dutt's conduct was good? When did they get the time to make such assessment when he was out on parole half the time?" asked a judge at the Bombay High Court, according to the Press Trust of India.
The case, based on a Public Interest Litigation or PIL, will be heard again after three weeks.
Mr Dutt, 57, was convicted in 2013 by the Supreme Court of acquiring illegal guns from the men convicted of the serial bombings in Mumbai in 1993 in which more than 250 people were killed.
In 2007, Mr Dutt, whose most recent success came from the Munnnabhai films, was cleared of conspiracy charges in the Mumbai serial blasts but was found guilty of illegal possession of an AK-56 rifle and a pistol, which he claimed he required to protect his family during a period of rioting in the city.
The actor spent 18 months in prison, but was released on bail till the Supreme Court ordered him back to the Yerwada prison in Pune for the remaining 42 months of his sentence.
Rajkumar Hirani, who directed him in the Munnabhai films, is making a biopic on him with actor Ranbir Kapoor playing Mr Dutt.