Sanjay Dutt Out on Parole
Sanjay DuttVarinder Chawla

Maharashtra Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao rejected former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju's plea seeking pardon for Sanjay Dutt in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, The Times of India reports.

In 2013, Katju made a plea seeking pardon for Sanjay Dutt and wrote a letter to the President, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

Sanjay Dutt is serving a five-year jail term for illegal possession of a 9 mm pistol and an AK-56 rifle during the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. The actor has already spent 30 months in jail and is currently out on 30-day parole. Sanjay Dutt will walk free in February 2016.

The Times of India, quoting a source, reported that the Governor followed the home department's advice, which was in a favour of rejecting the plea.

The home department had said that Sanjay Dutt was convicted by the highest court and accepting the plea would set a bad example.

Katju in his plea argued that Sanjay Dutt was not a terrorist.

"The only charge on which Sanjay Dutt has been found guilty is the charge of having in his possession a prohibited weapon," he said, according to TOI.

"I prayed that until my pardon petition is disposed of respite should be granted because Article 72 not only empowers the President to grant pardon, it also empowers the President to grant respite or suspension of sentence.So, till the pardon petition is decided, I have prayed that the President should grant respite," he added.

Meanwhile, Sanjay Dutt is out a 30-day parole for his daughter's nose surgery. The 30-day parole can be further extended for 60 more days and if that happens, Sanjay will be able to spend time with his family for three months.

This is not the first time the Bollywood actor has requested for parole. Sanjay was out on parole from December 2013 until March 2014. In December 2014, he came out on furlough for 14 days.

Earlier this year, Sanjay appealed for extension of his furlough by 14 days, but the Maharashtra government rejected his request and he surrendered on 10 January.