Sanjay Dutt, who has been ordered by the Supreme Court to return to jail to complete a five year sentence in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, on Thursday said he has not sought any pardon and will surrender in time.
Sanjay Dutt addresses the media in Mumbai. ANI photo
Amid a growing clamour for his clemency, the 53-year-old Bollywood actor said, "All I can tell you is I have not applied for pardon. "There are many other people who deserve pardon. I want to tell with folded hands to the media, the honourable citizens of the country that when I am not going for pardon then there can be no debate about it," said Dutt, who broke down during his interaction with the press in Mumbai.
The actor, who has been handed down five years imprisonment by the Supreme Court in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, said he had the highest respect for the apex court and will abide by all terms and conditions put forth by it.
"The honourable Supreme Court has given me time to surrender and I will surrender in that time," he said as sister and MP Priya Dutt comforted him.
Sanjay Dutt breaks down as his sister Priya Dutt consoles him during a press conference at his residence in Mumbai. AP
As Dutt has already served 18 months in jail, he would have to undergo the imprisonment for three-and-a-half-years. The apex court has given him four-week time to surrender.
"I am shattered and this is the tough time in my life. With folded hands I request the media and citizens let me be at peace," he said.
Several noted personalities including Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju and actor-turned-politicians Jaya Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha had sought pardon for Sanjay Dutt.
When pointed out that Dutt will not seek clemency, Katju, however, said he will go ahead and apply for his pardon.
Katju had said Dutt should be pardoned under Article 161 of the Constitution as he had not been found guilty of having played a role in the 1993 blasts and had suffered a lot.
Asked about Dutt's stand, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said that the party does not comment on judicial matters.
Expelled Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and Rampur Lok Sabha MP Jayaprada had on March 26 met Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan here and sought clemency for the actor.