The home ministry has sought opinion of Maharashtra government on reducing sentence of Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt and two other convicts in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts. The move came after Press Council of India chief Justice (retd) Markandey Katju petitioned President Pranab Mukherjee seeking relief for the actor and two others, including a 70 year-old women, on humanitarian grounds.
As per sources, the home ministry sought the opinion of the Maharashtra government after the President forwarded applications of Katju and a few others seeking reduction of their sentences. “We have asked the state government to provide its opinion, the jailor’s comment on the actor’s conduct and a few others issues,” sources said. Dutt, who was lodged in Pune’s Yerawada Central Jail to serve his remaining sentence in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, is currently at home on furlough.
Good conduct is one of the criteria for granting furlough, which is sanctioned from prisoner’s accumulated leave. Dutt, 53, is serving the remaining 42-month jail term for possessing illegal firearms, part of the cache of weapons which were supposed to be used during the 1993 bombings.
In its March 21 verdict, the Supreme Court had reduced Dutt’s jail term from six years to five. The actor had already served 18 months behind bars.
On May 10, the Supreme Court had dismissed Dutt’s plea seeking review of its judgement on his conviction and the five-year jail sentence.
After getting recommendation from the state government, the matter may be put before the President, if required, sources said.