Pune: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 from prison by March 7, 2016, official sources said in Pune on Tuesday.
The sources indicated that barring last-minute glitches, Sanjay would be released by March 7 after completing the remaining 42-month period of his sentence.
Dutt was acquitted of terror charges under the TADA, but found guilty of possessing illegal arms, acquired ostensibly to protect his family during the communal conflagration that engulfed Mumbai after the demolition of the Babri Mosque on December 6, 1992.
Following the apex court orders, his bail was cancelled and he was ordered to surrender within four weeks, which he complied with on May 16, 2013 and was lodged in Arthur Road Central Jail.
A week later, he was shifted to the Yerwada Jail, Pune, where he has been lodged since then and has earned the reputation of being a well-behaved inmate.
Of the five-year sentence, the actor had already served 18 months as an under trial and was required to undergo another 42 months, which is now on the verge of completing.
In between serving time, Dutt was granted either parole or furlough on various grounds, attracting a lot of criticism from various quarters, while some prominent personalities demanded his release from jail. Roughly he has spent 120 days outside prison.
A senior officer of prison spoke to mid-day on the condition of anonymity stating, "Dutt has applied to Prison Superintendent to lessen his term and release him early on account of good behaviour as per the norms laid down under Prison Manual. The matter is still pending with Superintendent officer and they are yet to take a decision. If his application is rejected, then he will appeal before superior officer. But very few chances as he has got all the benefits of a prisoner. His sentences is due till March first to second week."
When contacted Deputy Inspector General of Police (Prison) S S Solunke said, "We treat Dutt the same way as we treat other jail inmates. I cannot comment on this issue."
- With inputs from Chaitraly Deshmukh