Sanjay Dutt enters Pune’s Yerwada jail on Wednesday. (PTI )
Mumbai, Oct. 30: Sanjay Dutt returned to Pune’s Yerwada jail today after spending time at home on a furlough of nearly a month.
The actor, serving a 42-month term in an arms case related to the 1993 Bombay blasts, was dropped off at the jail gate by wife Maanyata around 10.30am.
The couple had left for Pune around 6.30am from their Pali Hill home in Mumbai’s Bandra, with brother-in-law Kumar Gaurav and sister Namrata seeing them off.
Sanjay, sporting a navy blue shirt with multiple amulets and rosaries hanging from chains around his neck, looked relaxed.
“I still have a problem in my legs but it is a bit better than before. Pray for me so that I can come out soon. Happy Diwali to all,” the 54-year-old Munnabhai star, granted the furlough after he developed a blood clot in his legs, told waiting reporters.
But his prayers might not be answered just yet. After the Union home ministry asked the Maharashtra government to give its opinion on a possible pardon to Sanjay, things have not moved much.
Last week, state home minister R.R. Patil claimed his ministry had not received any communication from the Centre on the issue.
He had also said the actor’s sister, Mumbai Congress MP Priya Dutt, had also not approached his department with any such request.
Patil made the statement after Opposition leader in the Assembly, the BJP’s Vinod Tawde, opposed any move to grant relief to the actor.
Patil, whose party NCP is part of the ruling state alliance led by the Congress, is wary of appearing to be lenient on Sanjay, sources said.
“It is a difficult call because it is he (Patil) and the party (NCP) who will have to answer the people if any step is taken in Sanjay’s case that would seem like a subversion of the orders of the Supreme Court,” said a senior NCP leader.
Although Sanjay was granted a 14-day furlough on October 1 because of the ailment, he later sought an extension of 14 days. “The 28-day period ended yesterday. Sanjay was given another 24 hours to travel to Yerwada, which he did today,” said jail superintendent Yogesh Desai.
The distance between Pune’s Yerwada jail and Sanjay’s Mumbai home is around 175km.It takes about three to four hours to cover the distance by road. Sanjay travelled in an SUV this morning.
While on furlough, the star celebrated Navratri and Karva Chauth with family. “But he will celebrate Diwali in jail,” said jail chief Desai.