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Sanjay Dutt back in jail as leave extension plea is rejected

Last updated on: January 10, 2015 18:56 IST

Sanjay Dutt was on Saturday back in Pune's Yerwada Central Jail after prison authorities turned down his request for extension of furlough citing lack of "positive" report from the police after days of indecision that resulted in the actor overstaying his leave.

According to prison officials, Dutt had cited poor health as the reason for extension of furlough after he was released on December 24.

The 55-year-old actor's application for extension of leave of absence was forwarded to the concerned police station in Mumbai for verification of the reason put forth by him and rejected as the police did not give a "positive" report.

"Local police has not given a positive report on granting extension. They felt that extension was not needed for his treatment which is why I rejected his plea," Rajendra Dhamane, Deputy Inspector General (Prisons) said.

Earlier, Dutt's lawyer Rizwan Merchant told PTI that as his application had been rejected the actor will be surrendering before the jail authorities in Pune later in the day.
Dutt appeared to blame the "hype" created in the media for his failure to get the leave extended.

"You (media) created the hype.....that I am a celebrity (so being favoured). I am no celebrity. I have abided by the law of the land for 22 years, have abided by the jail authorities, jail manual...I am now going to surrender," he told reporters before leaving for Pune.

"No favour was done. Anyone can get furlough for a month in a year. I came out lawfully. I respect you, you should also respect me. Whatever the jail authorities have been doing is under the law," he said.

Media reports suggested that Dutt, convicted in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, had been getting preferential treatment by way of frequent leave of absence which was not being extended to others co-convicts.

Sanjay Dutt was on Saturday back in Pune's Yerwada Central Jail after prison authorities turned down his request for extension of furlough citing lack of "positive" report from the police after days of indecision that resulted in the actor overstaying his leave.

According to prison officials, Dutt had cited poor health as the reason for extension of furlough after he was released on December 24.

The 55-year-old actor's application for extension of leave of absence was forwarded to the concerned police station in Mumbai for verification of the reason put forth by him and rejectedas the police did not give a "positive" report.

"Local police has not given a positive report on granting extension. They felt that extension was not needed for his treatment which is why I rejected his plea," Rajendra Dhamane, Deputy Inspector General (Prisons) said.

Earlier, Dutt's lawyer Rizwan Merchant told PTI that as his application had been rejected the actor will be surrendering before the jail authorities in Pune later in the day.

Dutt appeared to blame the "hype" created in the media for his failure to get the leave extended.

"You (media) created the hype.....that I am a celebrity (so being favoured). I am no celebrity. I have abided by the law of the land for 22 years, have abided by the jail authorities, jail manual...I am now going to surrender," he told reporters before leaving for Pune.

"No favour was done. Anyone can get furlough for a month in a year. I came out lawfully. I respect you, you should also respect me. Whatever the jail authorities have been doing is under the law," he said.

Media reports suggested that Dutt, convicted in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, had been getting preferential treatment by way of frequent leave of absence which was not being extended to others co-convicts.

Utter confusion had been prevailing over Dutt's application for the last couple of days.

As there was no official word on his December 27 plea, Dutt left his Bandra home on Thursday for jail but returned after his lawyer said Minister of State for Home Ram Shinde had told journalists in Mumbai that the actor need not go back to prison since his application was still pending with the authorities. He continued to remain at home on Friday as no decision was forthcoming.

"Sanjay Dutt reached Pune jail along with my colleague this afternoon when there was a news flash that the Minister concerned has made a statement that since the application seeking extension of furlough is pending, he (Dutt) does not require to surrender," the film star's lawyer Hitesh Jain said.

He had said the actor will surrender the next day if extension was not granted.

In an apparent lack of coordination between the prison and police authorities, DIG Dhamane said on Thursday that Duut's application had been forwarded to Mumbai police to verify if the grounds cited by him for seeking extension were genuine but there was no response from the local police.

Joint Police Commissioner (Law and Order) Dhananjay Kamlakar, who is in-charge of all 93 police stations in Mumbai, said, "We have not received any communication from prison authorities to verify anything pertaining to Dutt."

The actor's lawyer had on Friday cited a prison department circular under which a convict's furlough would be deemed to have been extended by 14 days at the end of initial leave for the same period. Action against a convict could be taken only after he does not surrender on the 29th day.

Image: Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt with his wife Manyata as he leaves his residence to return to jail after the Yerwada Prison authorities rejected his plea for the extension of his furlough, in Mumbai on Saturday. Photograph: Shashank Parade/ PTI

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