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Send Sanjay Dutt back to jail if unjustly released, Maharashtra govt tells High Court


State government has informed Mumbai High Court that it had followed all procedures in granting the actor an early leave on account of good behaviour and if the HC believes rules were flouted, it is free to put Dutt in jail again.

Our Correspondent

Sanjay Dutt is a free man today but the controversy over his early release from Yerwada jail refuses to die. Last month, the Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra state government to justify its decision to release Sanjay Dutt eight months early than his scheduled release. The matter came up for hearing today (27 July) with the government lawyer telling the court to send Dutt back to jail if rules were flouted, as reported by NDTV.com.

"If the rules were flouted in giving him parole or furlough, then the government has no objection in sending him back to jail," the state's lawyer said in court.

A bench of justices RM Savant and Sadhana Jadhav, however, said that the court had “no such intention,” and that it only wished to affirm that the “due process of law was followed," reported Hindustan Times.

The bench also questioned the decision of the state and prison authorities to grant frequent paroles and furloughs to Dutt while he was serving his sentence in Pune’s Yerwada jail.

In February 2016, Dutt was released from jail eight months ahead of scheduled release date on account of good behaviour. The Bombay High Court asked the state how did the Yerwada jail authorities assess that Dutt’s conduct was good, when in fact he was out on parole most of the time.

In 2013, the Supreme Court of India had sentenced Dutt to 6 years in prison under the Arms Act for illegal possession of weapon. The actor had spent 18 months in prison earlier, but was released on bail till the Supreme Court ordered him back to the Yerwada prison in Pune to complete remaining 42 months jail term.

Since being out of jail, Dutt has signed a host of films. First of which, Bhoomi, is set to be released this year.