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Sanjay to walk free today, PIL filed against release

Barring any last-minute hitches, Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, convicted in 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case, will be a free man today when he walks out of Pune’s Yerawada jail after he was granted remission in his five-year sentence.

On the eve of his release after serving 42 months behind bars, a public interest litigation was filed in the Bombay High Court today challenging his early release on remission, alleging that the 56-year-old actor was getting preferential treatment.

Maharashtra Minister of State for Home Ram Shinde on Tuesday said the actor will be completing his jail term on February 25, after counting in the eight months and 16 days he earned as exemption or remission on account of good behaviour in prison.

Jail officials said the actor, who has been dogged by controversies triggered by accusations that he availed of irregular remission in his sentence and was accorded a special treatment by the authorities, will be released today.

According to his lawyers, Dutt’s remission days were calculated in accordance with rules and jail manual.

“Dutt will be released Thursday (February 25) in the morning around 10 AM in keeping with the normal procedures as applied to every prisoner who has completed his sentence and jail term,” Yerawada Jail Superintendent UT Pawar said on Wednesday.

Pawar refuted allegations that the jail authorities had given Dutt a special treatment during his stay in view of his celebrity status.

“His remission was worked out in compliance with jail rules and he was treated like any other convict,” he said.
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