Actor Sanjay Dutt, convicted under the Arms Act, on Thursday made a brief final statement before the special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court.
A visibly relaxed Dutt said, "I love my country and its citizens and I request the honourable court to please show mercy while sentencing me.
"My father expired last year. Since then the burden of the family has fallen on me as I am the only earning member. I have a daughter to support too."
Dutt added, "My father had started a cancer aid foundation. After his demise the responsibility to carry it forward has passed on to me, so please show leniency, sir."
When judge Pramod Kode asked whether that was all he had to say, Dutt said yes. In a departure from practice, the judge allowed defence counsel Farhana Shah to add to the final statement on behalf of Dutt.
Farhana said, "Sir, Dutt has spent months 18 months in custody, and has been on bail for the last seven years. During the bail period the court did not receive any complaint and even while he was in custody there was no complaint before the court.” After the statement was recorded, the judge allowed Dutt to step out of the dock and leave the court.