Congratulatory messages poured in from all quarters while Dutt completed his formalities in court after the verdict.
“I think Sanju will rest peacefully tonight,” said visibly delighted filmmaker. Sanjay Gupta. “The last few weeks have been truly traumatic for him. It’s the love and prayers of his fans and the people of India that has finally shown him this day.”
He added that he had never doubted that Sanju would “walk away from this”.
“It was a long and tough battle that he’s fought and won. Thank God,” he said.
This sentiment was echoed by several in the film industry.
According to Karan Johar, for whom Sanjay Dutt is like a family member: “I’m happy Sanjay has been declared innocent and it’s definitely a sigh of relief. I’m sure the light at the end of this dark tunnel is close now.”
Added actor Akshay Kumar: “I think he has already been through enough… he has done time in prison and gone through a lot of personal struggle. To me it seems harsh, but I guess the judicial system has its logic. My sympathies are with him and his family.”
Pahlaj Nihalani, filmmaker and president of Association of Motion Pictures and TV Programme Producer of India, said: “It’s a victory for the entire industry.”
“It’s all due to the prayers and people’s love for him that justice prevailed,” Nihalani added.
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar agrees: “It is the love and affection of Dutt’s fans that has pulled him through,” said Bhandarkar.
Dutt’s co-stars Manisha Koirala and Vidya Balan also expressed happiness.
Said Balan, who has starred with him in Lage Raho Munnabhai: “Sanjay is a wonderful human being and the nation knows he is no terrorist.”
Koirala, who is in Goa attending IFFI, said she was glued to television since afternoon. “He is gem of a person. It is not only great news for Sanju, but also for the entire film industry.”
Apoorva Lakhia who is directing Dutt in Shootout At Lokhandwala, said: “We are happy that court justified whatever he has been saying all these days.”