Actor Sanjay Dutt was released from Pune's Yeravada jail on Thursday morning.
Dutt's lawyer Satish Maneshinde visited Yeravada jail at around 8.30 am with the relevant papers and delivered them to the jail authorities. He was accompanied by Dutt's former secretary Pankaj Kharbanda.
The actor was released at approximately 9.50 am. A battery of mediapersons and cameramen as well as scores of admirers of Munnabhai had gathered at the jail gate as Dutt, accompanied by his co-inmate and friend Yusuf Nalwalla, came out.
After waving at the crowd, Dutt, clad in a blue jeans and white kurta, got into a waiting white car.
Dutt drove straight to Pune airport where a private plane owned by Pune-based Venkateshwara Hatcheries waited for the actor to take him to Mumbai.
Dutt was not seen exchanging any pleasantries with the prison staff this time apparently keeping in mind the controversy triggered by his handshake with policemen during his release on interim bail a few months ago.
Sporting a tilak on his forehead, the actor chose not to interact with mediapersons who greeted him with shouts of Sanjubaba.
The actor was greeted by a large crowd of fans, friends and supporters when he reached his residence in suburban Bandra in Mumbai.
Dutt, accompanied by fellow convict Yusuf Nulwalla and his lawyer Satish Maneshinde, was welcomed with fireworks and floral bouquets on his homecoming. Some of his well-wishers also distributed sweets.
Brothers-in-law Kumar Gaurav and Owen Roncon, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Baba Siddiqui and other friends greeted the actor, who was looking slightly haggard as he stepped into his residence.
Speaking to reporters outside Sanjay's residence, Maneshinde said: "After his release from the Yerwada jail, Sanjay had personally called up all his family members, friends and producers to thank them for support."
Maneshinde also said Sanjay would speak to the media later in the day but would not take questions from the journalists.
When asked about their future legal course, Maneshinde said: "When the appeal comes up for hearing before the Supreme Court, then we shall be prepared for it."
The Supreme Court had granted bail to Dutt on November 27.
Dutt, sentenced to six years imprisonment under the Arms Act in connection to the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, has been lodged in Pune's Yeravada jail since October 22.
The actor was convicted for possessing illegal weapons like AK-56 and a pistol, which were delivered to him by Abu Salem on the orders of Anees Ibrahim, brother of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Dawood is the prime accused in the 1993 serial blasts which had claimed 257 lives.
After his sentencing, Dutt had spent a month in jail before the Supreme Court granted him interim bail, on the ground that the actor had not yet received a copy of the TADA court verdict.
The TADA court delivered the order copy to him on October 22 and Dutt was sent back to the Yeravada jail.
Now, the film industry is waiting for Dutt to resume shooting for his films.
Among his pending projects are EMI (Easy Monthly Installment), Mr Fraud, Kidnap, Alibaug and the much awaited Munnabhai Chale Amerika.
With inputs from PTI