MUMBAI -- Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao has rejected a plea to waive off the remaining jail term of actor Sanjay Dutt, convicted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.
"While turning down the plea for pardon, the Governor followed the advice of Home Department, which had recommended to him that the plea for pardon be turned down as Dutt had been convicted by the highest (Supreme) court. It was felt that granting him pardon would set a bad precedent," an official said.
The petition to cancel Dutt's remaining jail term was submitted by former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju, who had argued that Dutt was "not a terrorist" and had only erred.
The 56-year-old actor was jailed in 1996 and spent 18 months behind bars before walking out on bail. In 2013, the Supreme Court sentenced him to five years in prison for the crime.
The 18 months that Dutt had earlier spent in jail were taken into account and he was to spend another 42 months. After the imprisonment in May 2013, Dutt has spent nearly 30 months in prison already and is due to walk out as a free man in February 2016.
After he was sent to Pune-based Yerwada jail in May 2013, Dutt has been out on parole twice and an equal number of times on furlough.
In October 2013, he was out on furlough for 14 days, which was extended by a fortnight. In January 2014, a 30-day parole was extended by another 30 days. In December 2014, he was granted a 14-day furlough.
Since August 27, 2015, he has been out again on furlough.