Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt walked out of Yerwada Central Prison as a free man on Thursday and he will fly to Mumbai on a chartered plane to join his family. He had served 42 months of his five years jail term in two stints.
The actor walked out from prison around 8:40 am carrying a luggage bag of his personal belongings and a few papers in hand. After coming out, he turned around and paid a farewell to his jail time by saluting the prison building before boarding his car and leaving for the Pune airport.
Dutt's wife Manyata, twins Iqra and Shahran and film director Rajkumar Hirani were present outside the prison to receive him.
Dutt went back to jail for second time on May 21, 2013, after the Supreme Court directed him to complete the remainder jail term after it upheld his conviction in 1993 Mumbai serial bombings case. During his second stint, the actor seemed to have accepted his situation and worked hard to make better of it.
Dutt was also a popular RJ of Yerwada Central Prison, where he used to script and anchor a hour-long radio show, playing songs according to the requests from inmates. He also made paper bags and envelopes while serving his sentence.
He was paid Rs 50 per working day and has earned around Rs 38,000 during his time in jail, according to reports.
However, he would be taking home a mere Rs 450 as he had spent most of the money on buying things from prison canteen, added reports. He will also take a bunch of plastic bags that was made by him to back home as he considered them as “valued possession.”
The actor was released out of jail eight months and 16 days before the end of his jail term on the grounds of good behavior. He was given seven days remission per month and the officials said it was in accordance with the legal procedure.
Dutt's stay at the prison has rather been controversial due to the allegations of special treatment to the celebrity prisoner from prison officials and Maharashtra government. The critics also slammed his remission and a public interest litigation was filed in the Bombay High Court on Wednesday to stay his release.
According to his lawyers, however, Dutt's remission days were calculated in accordance with rules and jail manual.
"Dutt will be released tomorrow (February 25) in the morning around 10 AM in keeping with the normal procedures as applied to every prisoner who has completed his sentence and jail term," Yerawada Jail Superintendent U. T. Pawar said.
Pawar also refuted allegations that the jail authorities had given Dutt a special treatment during his stay in view of his celebrity status.
Dutt was surrounded by controversies after he was give three long paroles since October 2013 with extensions.
"His remission was worked out in compliance with jail rules and he was treated like any other convict," he said.
Dutt was lodged in the Yerawada prison in May 2013 to undergo remainder of his sentence after being convicted for illegal possession of arms under the Arms Act.
The Bollywood star was arrested on April 19, 1993, for possession and destruction of an AK-56 rifle, which was a part of cache of arms and explosives which landed in India prior to the serial blasts of March 1993.
During the investigation and the marathon trial, he spent 18 months in jail.
(With inputs from PTI)