On premature release of Sanjay Dutt: Why not me, asks Perarivalan

Seeks information on premature release of Sanjay Dutt; both to face info panel

Updated - January 08, 2019 09:25 am IST

Published - January 07, 2019 11:02 pm IST - CHENNAI

It does seem like Sanjay Dutt, who shook off his prison clothes short of his five-year term, just two years ago, could be back at Yerwada Central Prison, Pune. And this time, in the company of another convict serving a life sentence in Tamil Nadu.

The Bollywood star and A.G. Perarivalan, convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, will present their arguments before the appellate authority in the Yerwada Central Prison in Pune, over a petition from the latter, seeking information on files relating to the actor’s premature release from jail.

In a query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act sent to the Superintendent of the Yerwada Central Prison in 2016, Perarivalan had sought a copy of the entire file relating to Sanjay Dutt’s premature release and also details of his conduct in prison. The actor, convicted under the Arms Act in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, who was then serving a five-year sentence in Yerwada prison, was given the benefit of remission of sentence by the Maharashtra Government and released from the prison on account of “good conduct”.


While the State Government maintained that the decision to grant remission to Mr. Dutt was taken by the Jail Superintendent, the Public Information Officer rejected the RTI petition for details of the premature release on the grounds that it was third party information and could not be revealed. The authorities also cited a written representation from Mr. Dutt, while in prison, that his personal information should not be shared.

It’s public

However, Perarivalan appealed against this decision, stating that the information he sought regarding the release of the actor was public information and could not be denied by invoking the exemption provisions under Section 8(j) of the Act.

After no decision was taken on his first appeal challenging the denial of information, Perarivalan moved the Maharashtra State Information Commission which ordered that a decision on sharing information sought by the petitioner could not be taken without hearing the third party (Mr. Dutt). The Commission directed the first appellate authority, the Superintendent’s Office, Yerwada prison, to hear both sides and pass a speaking order before April 12, 2019.

Following this order, the prison officials have written to Perarivalan, presently lodged in the Puzhal central prison here, and Mr. Dutt to submit their written representations on January 16, 2019. The petitioner and the respondent would have the option of sending their affidavits through their respective counsels.

”The cases against both Sanjay Dutt and Perarivalan were investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation. However, when it came to premature release, the Centre refused to give its concurrence to Perarivalan. We want to examine the grounds why Dutt’s case was favourably considered. The Maharashtra Information Commission has ordered the appellate authority to hear the actor in person,” K.Sivakumar, counsel for Perarivalan said.

A proposal of the Tamil Nadu government seeking premature release of all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case is pending with the Governor.

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