Uncertainty loomed over the fresh parole granted to imprisoned Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt as the Maharashtra government Saturday sought a report on the issue while his wife Maanyata's doctor said she was suffering from heart and liver ailments.
The month's parole for Dutt on grounds that his wife was ill, apparently approved by the Pune divisional commissioner, has evoked strong reactions from various quarters.
A group of Republican Party of India (RPI) activists Saturday demonstrated outside the Yerawada Central Jail, protesting the actor's likely release.
Waving black flags and banners, RPI activists led by district chief Sandeep Sasane shouted slogans demanding that Dutt should not be granted parole and treated at par with other prisoners.
State Home Minister R.R. Patil has sought a report from the concerned departments to ascertain whether Dutt was eligible for a month's parole.
An official in Nagpur said police may also try to verify the nature of Maanyata's illness before a final decision on the parole is taken.
Political sources said the government was being extra careful in view of the winter session of the Maharashtra legislature starting in Nagpur Monday where the issue could be raised by the opposition.
In Mumbai, Maanyata's doctor said a tumourous growth in her body was "causing concern".
"She has complained of chest pain and sudden weight loss. During tests we detected a large tumour growth on her liver," her cardiologist Ajay Chaughule told IANS.
"Maanyata is also suffering from irregular heart beats and the tumourous growth is also causing concern," said Chaughule who is attached with Global Hospital, Mumbai, and specialises in heart and liver problems.
Asked whether the condition was serious, he declined to comment, but expressed hope that she would recover.
Though she had been advised to consider an angiography, Manyata opted for a second opinion with Chaughule.
Dutt, 54, had recently applied for a month's parole saying he wanted to take care of his sick wife.
However, Maanyata reportedly attended a film premiere Thursday night and her pictures were splashed in various online media. She was seen sporting jeans and T-shirt.
This would be the third time Dutt will be granted parole in the past three months.
Dutt was granted the first parole for a fortnight due to medical reasons Oct 1, which was extended by another 15 days and he returned to the jail Oct 30.
The actor is presently serving the remaining 42 months of his five-year sentence for his involvement in the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.
Having served 18 months in jail before his trial began, Dutt started his stint in the jail May 16. In prison, he has been assigned the task of making paper bags which are sold outside through some NGOs.
Though Dutt spent Diwali in jail along with other inmates, he is likely to enjoy Christmas and New Year with his family if he gets parole now.