Eminent criminal lawyer Majid Memon, who defended many of the accused in the 1993 blasts, said on Thursday that there is only a "narrow" window open for actor Sanjay Dutt to seek relief after the Supreme Court sentenced him to five years in jail.
"He has only a narrow window of approaching a larger bench or file a review petition but in that case also, I am afraid that unless the stay is granted on today's order, he will have to walk into the prison," Memon told reporters after the verdict.
Describing the sentence as "unfortunate", Memon said since the actor had already undergone 18 months' imprisonment, he was expecting that the apex court, after examining evidence against him and taking into account facts and circumstances singularly applicable to Dutt, could give him the "benefit of sentence undergone".
"But in its wisdom and fairness, the Supreme Court has felt that he needs to be sentenced to five years. Consequently, he will have to go back and suffer the remaining period of his sentence.
"The law says once the highest court has passed the order, the law will take its own course. Proceedings will start unless stayed by the highest court," he said.
About commuting of the death sentence of 10 convicts to life imprisonment, Memon said,"I must say that these young men in their 20s and 30s were only pawns. They were used as foot soldiers by some others. Another thing is that they had already served 18-20 years in prison.
"I think all these factors must have weighed in the mind of the Supreme Court which felt that the aim of justice would be met if their death sentence can be converted into life," he said.