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Email glitch holds up Sanjay

Mumbai, Nov. 28: An email problem today denied Sanjay Dutt his hot meal and a good night’s sleep at home.

Tuesday’s Supreme Court order to release him was to be sent to the special Tada court by email but the intimation had to be faxed across from Delhi because the lower court does not have an email address or ID. The email directive would have been the first intimation for release to be sent online.

Even the faxed order had to be first sent to Bombay High Court as the Tada court doesn’t have a fax machine.

Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan had asked the apex court registrar to inform the special Tada judge by email. In the normal course, it takes three to four days for a person to be released from prison after grant of bail if the lower court or the jail is in a distant location.

“The email is not a copy of the actual order. It is only an intimation. That order came today to the high court, which has got a fax machine. Tada judge P.D. Kode has issued the release orders,” Tada court registrar V.S. Gawas said.

“As a criminal lawyer, I know how difficult it is for someone to spend that one last night in jail. The period between the bail order and the release should be minimal. This would mean one more sleepless night for Dutt, or for anyone in a similar situation. The new format of intimation, by email, will speed up the criminal justice system,” said criminal lawyer Majeed Memon.

Sanjay, who could have been at his Pali Hill home tonight had all gone well, concentrated on his Hanuman Chalisa and saying goodbye to inmates at Pune’s Yerwada jail after he was told about the delay.

Sanjay’s lawyer Farhana Shah confirmed that all legal procedures relating to the release had been completed by this evening. The legal team, led by Satish Maneshinde, is expected to reach Yerwada tomorrow morning.

The actor’s sister Priya said friends would bring the actor back from Pune and the family would wait for him in Mumbai. She had said yesterday that a warm bed and a hot meal awaited her brother at home.

Judge Kode said the bail amount and surety for Sanjay and the 16 others given bail yesterday in the 1993 Bombay blasts case will be the same as that furnished by them during the trial.

Sanjay will have to fork out Rs 5 lakh as the bail amount and an equal sum as surety. This is the payment he made when he was granted bail the first time in the serial blasts case by the Supreme Court in 1995.

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