|Sanjay Dutt gestures after reaching his home
on Tuesday. (Fotocorp)
Mumbai, Oct. 1: Sanjay Dutt will spend Navratri at home with his family.
The actor, serving time at Pune’s Yerwada jail after being convicted in a Mumbai blasts case, was today granted a two-week furlough, a leave available to convicts as a matter of right to allow them to stay integrated with society.
The Bollywood hunk, who stepped out of the prison gates at 9.30 this morning, reached his Pali Hill apartment in Mumbai around 2pm.
He wore a red shirt and jeans, looked thinner and weather-beaten but was all smiles as he got off his car in the apartment compound to face waiting reporters.
He had a request, too.
“I am here for only 14 days to get myself treated for certain illnesses. Please let my 14-day stay be peaceful. Please leave me alone…. Let me enjoy my stay with my family for the next few days. I request the media to not follow me. Please let me be,” he pleaded with folded hands before producer and close friend Bunty Walia led him away.
The Munnabhai hero had sought furlough to undergo medical treatment for deep vein thrombosis. Patients suffering from the condition have blood clots in the veins — Dutt has them in his legs.
“It is not a fatal condition, but if untreated and undissolved, it can travel to the lungs causing pulmonary embolism (PE) or a blockage of the main artery of the lungs. This can lead to breathing problems,” said Dr Jalil Parkar, consultant pulmonologist, at Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai.
“Over a period of time, PE may cause abnormally low blood pressure or even sudden death. The condition can be rectified through a small surgery,” Parkar added.
Late in July, the actor, convicted under the Arms Act for his role in the March 1993 blasts and serving a 42-month sentence, had taken ill inside the jail.
“He had breathing problems and was taken to Sassoon Hospital where he underwent a full medical check-up for around three hours by a team of four doctors. The reports revealed blood clots in his legs, but could not establish whether he had any lung blockage,” said a jail source.
After returning from the hospital, Dutt, 54, had applied for 30-day parole.
|Sanjay Dutt grins before addressing a news conference outside his home on Tuesday. (Fotocorp)
According to a verdict of Bombay High Court and the Maharashtra Jail Manual, parole can be granted to convicts in emergencies, irrespective of whether they have availed themselves of the relief or any other parole term within a year. But parole comes only at the discretion of the jail authorities and is a time-consuming process.
“So on August 20, he applied for furlough, which is a convict’s rightful leave if he has behaved well in jail. He was granted the 14-day break this morning,” said Walia, Dutt’s producer friend who accompanied the actor from Pune to Mumbai.
The relief came a day before the birth anniversary of the man whose philosophy of non-violence Dutt had made fashionable with the term Gandhigiri in his 2006 film Lage Raho Munnabhai.
A source close to Dutt said he wanted to spend the two weeks with his family and friends. “Sanju’s Mata ki Chowki on the occasion of Navratri is a huge affair every year and he is planning one this year as well if all goes well,” said the family source.
A nightlong festivity accompanied by devotional music, dance and puja, Dutt’s Mata ki Chowki has drawn the biggest names in Bollywood to his home on Navratri.
In 2011, a heavily pregnant Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had risked being mobbed by paparazzi to attend the event with husband Abhishek.
Last year’s event too was big, though the axe of a possible jail term hung over the actor’s head.
Dutt and his wife Maanyata had welcomed a host of Bollywood personalities who included producer-director Raju Hirani, actors Jaya Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty, Sonali Bendre, Kajol, Ajay Devgn and Suniel Shetty.
The guests were later seen off with boxes of sweets and Mata ki chunni, a sacred piece of red cloth with golden border.
Will Dutt host the show this year too? Watch this space.