Show us average prisoner gets same treatment as Sanjay Dutt : HC

 The Maharashtra government said today it can justify “every single minute” of parole or furlough granted to actor Sanjay Dutt, who was in jail in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, prompting the Bombay High Court to ask if same rules were applied to every inmate.

A public interest litigation has questioned the “frequent” parole or furlough Dutt, sentenced to five years in jail in the case, got, and his early release from prison in 2016.

Parole is granted for special reasons, while prisoners are entitled to furlough as a matter of right.

Maharashtra Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni today said, “Not even for a single minute or second was Dutt out of jail in breach of law. We can account for every single minute that he was permitted to stay out of jail.

“We follow a strict, standard procedure for granting parole for every inmate. In times of RTI queries and public interest litigations, we take no chance,” he said.

During a hearing last year, the state had told another bench of the high court that the actor earned early release by displaying exemplary conduct while in jail.

The court had, however, pointed out that Dutt got parole just two months into his sentence, and also a furlough at the same time, a concession other convicts rarely get.

Kumbhakoni said today this concession was granted in July 2013 on account of medical emergencies in his family.

“This was on account of his daughter’s illness and his wife needing a surgery,” Kumbhakoni said.

“In cases of medical emergency, we take between 24 hours and eight days to decide on applications of parole. In Dutt’s case, we sent a police officer to interview the doctor who was to perform the surgery to ensure that this was a genuine case,” the advocate general said.

The division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre directed the state to submit an affidavit detailing the steps followed while granting parole and furlough to an “average” inmate.

“You can show us that you follow the same procedure for all inmates….Else we’ll have to issue directions,” the judges said, adjourning the hearing to February 1.

According to the state government’s submissions, in view of Dutt’s good conduct, it decided to release him on February 25, 2016, eight months and 16 days before he completed his five-year sentence.

Dutt was convicted of charges of illegal possession and destruction of an AK-56 rifle that was part of the consignment of firearms and explosives to be used in the 1993 terror attack.

He spent over a year and four months in jail as an undertrial, and about two-and-a-half years as a convicted prisoner between June 2013 and February 2016.

During this period, he was out of jail for over five months on parole and furlough.

Source : PTI

How could jail officials judge Dutt’s good conduct in two months, HC asks govt

How could jail officials judge Dutt's good conduct in two months, HC asks govt
How could jail officials judge Dutt’s good conduct in two months, HC asks govt

The Bombay High Court today asked the Maharashtra government how actor Sanjay Dutt was granted parole and furlough in quick succession and within two months of surrendering to serve his five-year sentence in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

The high court also sought to know how is the good conduct and behaviour of a convict ascertained, and on what basis and criteria the actor was granted early remission.

A division bench of Justices R M Savant and Sadhana Jadhav noted that Dutt surrendered in May 2013 and in July he filed applications seeking to be released on furlough and parole.

“On July 8, 2013, he (Dutt) filed for furlough and then on July 25 he sought to be released on parole. Both the applications were allowed and that too concurrently,” Justice Jadhav said.

“How did the jail authorities ascertain good behaviour and conduct within two months of the convict surrendering? Normally the superintendent of jail would not even forward the applications. The authorities would throw out the application,” Justice Jadhav said.

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbakoni told the court that Dutt was not given any preferential treatment, but if the court feels and comes to the conclusion that the state government has erred in granting him early remission, it can direct Dutt to go back to jail.

“We do not want to set the clock back in time. We are not for a moment suggesting that he (Dutt) go back to jail.

But we only want such issues to be streamlined so that in future no questions are raised,” Justice Savant said.

“We only want to know on what basis and criteria he (Dutt) was granted early remission on good conduct? How is this good conduct and behaviour ascertained? Our conscience has to be satisfied that all this was done in accordance with law,” the judge said.

The high court said it has observed that in several cases furlough and parole are not given even when the mother or father of the convict is on death bed.

“Dutt got furlough first for his wife’s illness, then parole on grounds of his daughter’s illness. We have seen cases where the convict’s mother is ill and on her death bed but still parole or furlough is not given,” Justice Jadhav said.

The bench has directed the Maharashtra government to file a detailed affidavit within two weeks.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by city resident Pradeep Bhalekar, questioning the regular paroles and furloughs granted to Dutt when he was serving his sentence.

In his petition, Bhalekar alleged Dutt was given undue favour by the prisons department by granting him remission.

The state government had earlier this month submitted a report to the high court saying no special treatment was meted to the actor.

The government had said Dutt was granted remission on account of his “good behaviour, discipline and participation in various institutional activities such as physical training, educational programmes and for performing the allotted work.”

“The Maharashtra Prisons (Remission System) Rules provide for remission of up to three days per month for good behaviour, discipline and so on. In the present matter at hand, as per the rules, the accused (Dutt) is entitled for 256 days remission which comes to eight months and 16 days,” the report said.

During the investigation and the marathon trial, Dutt spent 18 months in jail.

On July 31, 2007 the TADA court in Mumbai sentenced him to six years rigorous imprisonment under the Arms Act and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000.

In 2013, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling but reduced the sentence to five years following which he surrendered to serve the remainder of his sentence.

During his imprisonment, he was granted parole of 90 days in December 2013 and again for 30 days later.

( Source – PTI )

Warrant against Sanjay Dutt for non-appearance in court

A local magisterial court issued an arrest warrant against Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt today for not appearing before it to answer a complaint of criminal intimidation filed by producer Shakeel Noorani.

“We had sought arrest warrant against Dutt for non- appearance. The court has allowed our application,” said advocate Neeraj Gupta, Noorani’s lawyer.

The next hearing will be on August 29.

Noorani has filed a private complaint with the court demanding registration of a case against Dutt for criminal intimidation.

Dutt had abandoned midway in 2002 a film, ‘Jan ki Bazzi,’ which he was producing, said Noorani in his complaint, adding the actor did not even return the money already paid to him.

Noorani approached Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association which directed Dutt to pay back the money. Noorani later moved the Bombay High Court, seeking execution of the IMPPA’s order.

In the meantime, he started receiving threatening calls from some underworld figures who asked him to withdraw the case, the producer alleged.

Earlier too a warrant had been issued against Dutt for non-appearance in this case, but he was granted bail.

Dutt, who was convicted under the Arms Act in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, was released from the jail last year.

Source : PTI

Bombay HC: PIL seeks cancellation of Dutt’s release on remission

Bombay HC: PIL seeks cancellation of Dutt's release on remission
Bombay HC: PIL seeks cancellation of Dutt’s release on remission

A day before Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt will walk out from Yerwada prison, a public interest litigation has been filed in the Bombay High Court challenging his early release on remission and alleging that the actor was getting preferential treatment.

The PIL filed by social activist Pradeep Bhalekar urges the High Court to cancel the government’s decision granting Dutt remission and to order the actor to be taken into custody again to serve his entire five-year sentence imposed on him by the apex court.

Dutt is slated to walk out of Yerawada prison near Pune on Thursday after getting remission (reduction) of sentence.

According to the Maharashtra Home Department, he was given remission on account of good conduct.

“The remission granted to Dutt is wrong and illegal. What is the good behaviour and conduct that has been held as a ground for granting him remission and reducing his sentence? What about all the other convicts especially in petty offences who are rotting in jail. They have also filed applications seeking remission but there has been no order on those,” petitioner’s lawyer Nitin Satpute said.

Satpute said he would mention the PIL before the appropriate bench tomorrow.

Dutt had surrendered in May 2013 after the apex court upheld his conviction by a special court here for possession of arms and ammunitions which was part of the consignment used in the 1993 serial bomb blasts.

His release tomorrow will be 103 days ahead of the end of his full prison term.

During the investigation and the marathon trial, he spent 18 months in jail. On July 31, 2007, the TADA court in Mumbai sentenced him to six years’ rigorous imprisonment under the Arms Act and imposed a fine of Rs. 25,000. In 2013, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling but reduced the sentence to five years following which he surrendered to serve the remainder of his sentence.

During his imprisonment, he was granted parole of 90 days in December 2013 and again for 30 days later.

( Source – PTI )

‘PK’ poster: MP court directs police to register case

Aamir film 'PK'A local court has directed police to register a case against superstar Aamir Khan, filmmakers Raju Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and others for publication of a controversial poster of their upcoming movie `PK`.

The directives were given yesterday by Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) R D Deharia to Aadhartal Police Station In-charge on a complaint filed by advocate Amit Sahu.

The court also directed to register a case against Film and Television Producer Guild President, Mukesh Bhatt and also against editor and publisher of three local dailies for publishing the poster.

The complainant termed the poster as “obscene, indecent and unreasonable” and said that the act comes under the category of obscenity and a case under IPC section 292 and 294 can be registered against them.

The court then directed the police to file a report whether the poster in question comes under the category of obscenity and fixed September 19 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

Yesterday, the second poster of the film was released in Mumbai which showed Aamir donning traditional Rajasthani attire after the first bare-all one triggered a controversy.

Directed by Rajkumar Hirani, the film also features Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Boman Irani and Sanjay Dutt. The film is set for release in December this year.
(Source: PTI)

Sanjay Dutt out on parole, second time in three months

ffRight on cue, as soon as the winter session came to an end, convicted Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt was finally released from Yerawada central jail on parole for 30 days on Saturday morning.

The 54-year-old had applied for a month’s parole saying he wanted to take care of his sick wife Maanyata who has complained of chest pain and sudden weight loss earlier this month. Her cardiologist Ajay Chaughule said that a large tumour had been detected in her liver and she was suffering from an irregular heartbeat.

Although Dutt had been granted parole a fortnight ago, on December 7, his release had become a topic of a political slug fest with the Opposition in the state assembly alleging that the actor was being given preferential treatment. The controversy had erupted after Dutt was allowed to leave prison for the second time in just three months. Dutt had already been granted a month-long furlough and had returned to jail on October 30.

Taking note of this, state home minister RR Patil had ordered an inquiry to ascertain the basis for granting parole to Dutt.

When dna asked deputy inspector general (prisons) Rajendra Dhamne about the inquiry report and why Dutt’s release was delayed, Dhamne refused to comment.

Meanwhile Yerawada jail officials have claimed that the actor was not released on December 8 as he did not complete the necessary procedures. Jail superintendent Yogesh Desai said, “After getting his parole order, we had to verify the actor’s documents besides completing formalities like furnishing surety and guarantors. These formalities were completed on Friday and after conducting his medical check-up, he was released on parole.” When asked why the verification took so long, Desai said, “It took time to crosscheck the guarantor’s documents.”

Meanwhile, a senor jail official, on condition of anonymity, told dna, “Since the Opposition had taken objection over the actor’s parole, we had been asked to release him after the winter session. As instructed, we have released him today (Saturday).”

The controversy
The controversy erupted after Dutt was allowed to leave prison for the second time in just three months. Accusing the jail authorities of favouring Sanjay Dutt, activists belonging to the Republican Party of India (RPI) had even staged a demonstration in front of Yerawada central jail.

They had alleged that special treatment was being given to the actor as he was influential.


Sanjay Dutt’s hope of leaving jail dashed

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt’s last hope of leaving the jail were dashed Tuesday as the Supreme Court refused to revisit its March 21 verdict upholding his conviction under the Arms Act and the five-year jail sentence.

The actor who surrendered May 16 to serve a three and a half years’ jail term, remaining out of his five-year sentence, will now step out of prison around November 2016.

“We have gone through the curative petition and the relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out within the parameters indicated in the (earlier) decision of this court…Hence, the curative petition is dismissed,” said Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice B.S. Chauhan.

Sanjay Dutt had pleaded to the court to revisit its March 21 order which upheld his conviction.

The court then offered him partial relief by reducing his sentence from six years, as awarded by the trial court, to five years.

The actor’s another plea seeking the review of the March 21 order was dismissed by the court May 10.

The court March 21 gave the actor additional time to surrender to serve the remaining period of his five-year sentence.

A Special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities court which heard the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts cases acquitted Sanjay Dutt of charges under the stringent anti-terror law but convicted him under the Arms Act for unauthorisedly possessing banned arms and ammunitions.

The TADA court had convicted Dutt Nov 28, 2006, and he was sentenced June 31, 2007.

(Source: IANS)

Yerawada authorities move court against home food for Dutt

The authorities of Yerwada jail in Pune, where Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt has been kept, have approached a special TADA court here against allowing home food to the actor, citing the prison manual.

Mr. Dutt, a convict in the 1993 Bombay bomb blasts, has been booked under the Arms Act for illegal possession of weapons and the Supreme Court has sentenced him to five years in jail.

The actor surrendered in front of the court here on May 16 after the court order.

The application, which was filed on Monday, is likely to be heard next week.

He was initially kept in Arthur Road jail and was later shifted to Yerwada. The actor had sought permission for consuming home food when he surrendered.

(Source: PTI)

SC to consider Sanjay Dutt’s review plea tomorrow

The review plea of Sanjay Dutt will taken by the Supreme Court of India for seeking of its March 21 judgement upholding his conviction under the Arms Act and sentencing him to five years in jail in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

A bench of P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan, which had delivered March 21 verdict, will take up the review plea in chamber. It will also consider similar pleas made by other six convicts in the case.

Other six convicts, who filed review petitions are Yusuf Mohsin Nulwalla, Khalil Ahmed Sayed Ali Nazir, Mohamed Dawood Yusuf Khan, Shaikh Asif Yusuf, Muzammil Umar Kadri and Mohd Ahmed Shaikh.

A day before the deadline for his surrender ended, the Supreme Court had on April 17 granted Dutt, 53, four weeks time to surrender before jail authorities to undergo 42 months remaining sentence in the case.

The apex court had on March 21 upheld his conviction in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case which it said was organised by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and others with the involvement of Pakistan’s ISI.

However, the apex court had reduced to five years the six- year jail-term awarded to him by a designated TADA court in 2006, ruling out his release on probation saying the “nature” of his offence was “serious”.

Dutt was convicted by the TADA court for illegal possession a 9 mm Pistol and a AK-56 rifle which was part of the consignment of weapons and explosives brought to India for coordinated serial blasts that killed 257 people and injured over 700.

After Dutt, 7 more convicts get 4 weeks to surrender

A day after actor Sanjay Dutt was granted four weeks time to surrender, seven other convicts including 70-year-old Zaibunnisa Anwar Kazi, were also given the same amount of time by the Supreme Court to turn themselves in to serve their remaining sentence in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
Granting relief to Abdul Razak Memon, Altaf Ali Sayed, Yusuf Mohsin Nulwalla, Zaibunnisa, Issaq Mohd Hajwane, Shariff Abdul Gafoor Parker alias Dadabhai and Kesri Adajania, a bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said no further time will be given to anyone to surrender on any ground.

The court granted the relief today, the day the deadline fixed by it for them to surrender was set to expire.

The bench, however, refused to grant relief to another convict Yusuf Khan, who had sought extension of time to surrender till his review petition is decided by the Supreme Court, saying that relief cannot be granted on this ground.

The apex court had on March 21 upheld the sentence of five years imprisonment of Yusuf Khan. The court had also upheld the jail term of life imprisonment, 10 years and five years respectively of Memon, Sayed and Nulwalla.

Apart from them, the court had also upheld the TADA court’s verdict awarding five-years and life term to Zaibunnisa (70), who is suffering from cancer, and Parker (86), respectively.

The apex court had enhanced the five-year jail term of Hajwane (76) to life imprisonment and had awarded one-year jail term to Adajania (84).

The apex court had on April 16 refused to grant extension of the deadline to surrender to Zaibunnisa, Hajwane and Parker, who had pleaded they be allowed to remain out of jail till their clemency pleas were decided by the President.

A day thereafter, Dutt, 53, was granted four weeks to surrender after he urged the court to extend the deadline on humanitarian grounds.

Other convicts, including Zaibunnisa then filed a petition seeking relief on health and humanitarian grounds which was accepted by the apex court and they were also granted four weeks to surrender.

After today’s order, all eight convicts, including Dutt will have to surrender before the trial court in Mumbai by May 16.

The Mumbai serial blasts on March 12, 1993 had claimed 257 lives and injured over 700.

25 more convicts in 1993 bomb blasts case surrender

Twenty five convicts in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case surrendered today before a designated TADA court in keeping with the Supreme Court order upholding their conviction and dismissing their appeals.

Eleven others had surrendered before the same Court yesterday. Eight more convicts, including actor Sanjay Dutt, have been given time by the Supreme Court to return to jail to serve the remaining period of sentence.

The 25 convicts who surrendered today were those who were found guilty of possessing arms, attending conspiracy meetings and facilitating landing of arms, ammunitions and RDX at Shekhadi coast in Raigad district which was allegedly sent from Pakistan by absconding accused Tiger Memon.

All the convicts face an imprisonment ranging from 5 years to 10 years with several of them having undergone over four years in jail during the trial period.

The convicts surrendered before special TADA Judge G A Sanap who directed police to take them to Central prison at Arthur Road in Central Mumbai. The convicts would later be transferred to various central prisons across the state.

The judge said the court would wait till Saturday to see if any more convicts will surrender. “If not, we will issue arrest warrant,” the court said.

Two convicts, Mohammad Kasam Lajpuria alias Mechanic Chacha, who was wheel chair bound, and Tulsiram Surve, who has suffered a paralytic attack, were allowed to take their medicines inside jail. Family members of many convicts had accompanied them to the court today.

Asked why they did not approach the Supreme Court like some of their co-accused to seek time to surrender, convicts Noor Mohammad Haji Mohammad Khan and Ibrahim Baba Moosa Chauhan said “we are not celebrities.. Today or after a month, we have to surrender one day. It is better to surrender today and spend that one month in jail praying to Allah.”

Khan, whose son is a solicitor in a law firm, added grave injustice had been done to some of his co-accused.

“There are some accused who have been sentenced to ten years jail for possessing a pistol in a notified area. But another accused who possessed AK 56 rifle and hand grenades was given just five years. Why this difference?” the convict said hinting at actor Sanjay Dutt.

The convicts who surrendered today included Salim Durani, a member of the family of Nawab of Tonk in Rajasthan, Uttam Potdar, Tulsiram Surve, Ghulam Hafiz Shaikh, Farooq Motorwala, Yusuf Khan, Sulieman Kasam, Shanawaz Khan, Mujib Sharif Parkar, Asif Yusuf Shaikh, Shaikh Aziz Ahmed, Mohammad Dawood Yusuf Khan, Mohammad Sayed Ishaq, Sayed Abdul Rehman Shaikh, Shahjahan Hajwane, Sikandar Hajwane, Ayub Qureshi, Ehsan Tuffel Qureshi, Mohammad Usman Shiakh, Liyakat Khan and Suleman Ghavate.