For close to four decades, they occupied pride of place in the late Sunil Dutt’s Mumbai home. Kept as showpieces, the actor-MP’s three beloved double-bore rifles were surrendered to the police by his daughter Priya when he passed away in May last year.
Now, at least one of the guns seems set to return home. Priya, who has taken Sunil Dutt’s place in Parliament, told HT: “When my father passed away, we surrendered three guns to the police, who assured me they would be returned.” She had applied for possession of the guns on “emotional” grounds. After some objections were raised about transferring three firearms to one person, Priya had said they could be divided between her sister Namrata and herself.
Officials in the police’s firearms licence department said they planned to transfer at least one gun to Priya soon. Priya knows where she will keep the gun when it is returned — on a particular shelf Sunil Dutt had got designed in his new Bandra home.
But it seems another double-bore rifle owned by another Dutt — actor Sanjay — will not be returned to the family. The sale of the gun — a legal firearm confiscated by the police after Sanjay’s arrest in the 1993 serial blasts case — has been cleared, according to a source in the firearms licence department. In 2001, Sanjay had sought permission to sell the gun to a licence holder of his choice. Officials had, however, postponed any decision as the Mumbai blasts trial was in progress.
Now that Sanjay has been convicted under the Arms Act, the gun can be sold. An official in the department said: “If Sanjay wants to sell the gun to a licence holder of his choice, we will certainly consider that.”