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Sanjay still stuck in jail

Mumbai, Dec. 9: Sanjay Dutt is yet to be released from jail despite being sanctioned a month’s parole two days ago on grounds of his wife’s illness, with prison officials saying his family and lawyers haven’t completed formalities.

The delay over the actor’s second break from Pune’s Yerwada jail in just over a month comes against the backdrop of a controversy ignited by pictures of his wife Maanyata at a film-related event last week.

Maharashtra home minister R.R. Patil had asked for a report on the reasons for granting the parole and promised to make a statement on the issue today at the start of the Assembly’s winter session in Nagpur. He did not do so.

Yogesh Desai, the superintendent of Pune’s Yerwada jail, confirmed having received the parole order from divisional commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh but said Sanjay’s family was yet to complete the formalities for his release.

“Yes, we have received the order for his release on parole but there is paperwork involved which has not been completed by Sanjay’s family members or lawyers. A personal bond, bail amount, and a security deposit of Rs 5,000 has to be paid before he can be released,” Desai said this evening when asked about the actor’s release.

The parole decision has been questioned by relatives of some of Sanjay’s co-accused in the 1993 Bombay blasts whose applications for such relief had been repeatedly rejected by the jail authorities.

Deshumukh, the divisional commissioner, had approved Sanjay’s release on Friday evening based on a recommendation by jail chief Desai and Shivajirao Kolekar, the assistant commissioner of police in Mumbai’s Bandra where Sanjay’s family is based.

Deshmukh said the two officers had sent him the report on November 26. “The report had a medical certificate specifying the liver tumour of his wife,” Deshmukh said.

On Saturday, Maanyata’s doctor Ajay Chaughule had said she had been under his treatment for a heart condition for at least two years.

Chaughule said Maanyata had complained three weeks ago of recurrent abdominal pain and that subsequent tests showed she had tumour in the liver. The heart and cardiothoracic surgeon at Mumbai’s Global Hospital said he had prescribed CT scans and other tests to determine if the tumour was cancerous, but added that Maanyata was yet to come back to him.

The controversy erupted after some newspapers and gossip sites carried photos of Maanyata at a special screening of Prabhu Deva’s new release Rů Rajkumar on December 4.

Sanjay had returned to Yerwada jail on October 30 after a four-week furlough granted on medical grounds for his own treatment. He is serving a 42-month term, part of a five-year sentence after his conviction in an arms case related to the 1993 blasts. He had served the rest as an under-trial.