The Special TADA court on Thursday dismissed an application which opposed the release of actor Sanjay Dutt under the provisions of Probation of Offenders Act. Dutt has been convicted under the Arms Act in the 1993 bomb blast case and has sought release on the bond of good conduct.
Dismissing the application, which was received through post, the court observed "it did not have any locus standi under the law and was not maintainable. The court also observed that the application should have been routed through the proper channel (the prosecutor) and not through post."
The intervening application was sent to the court by Abhimanyu Y Altekar who was recently acquitted by a sessions court, 16-years after he was arrested in a false case of planting a bomb outside the house of an Marathi daily editor in 1990.
In his application Abhimanyu stated that Dutt was already having a legal weapon with proper license for holding it. Still he bought illegal weapons from the people who deemed to have contacts with the underworld.
He argued that one of the grounds of Dutt's application for seeking time to surrender was that he was the only earning member of the family. However, during the time he was on bail Dutt had made a lot of money due to his lucrative profession which can easily support his family. If the court wanted a confirmation of this fact, details of property & bank–balance of Dutt should be checked.
The application also stated that Dutt was mature enough at the time of purchasing the weapons and so his decision cannot be taken as a mistake on his part and no mercy should be shown to him. However, the Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam informed the court that the prosecution did not oppose Abhimanu's application as the applicant was just venting out his own feelings and his grievances against the accused for which the prosecution has nothing to say.
Nikam also argued before the court that if the application was entertained then it would open a flood gate of similar applications which would affect the working of the court.
Dutt had moved an application before the designated court under section 4 of the Probation of Offenders Act. In his application Dutt had pleaded that the court has the discretion to release a convict on bond of good conduct instead of sentencing him to jail for a period not exceeding three years and during this tenure it can call him and give the punishment. The actor has relied upon the affidavits filed by four eminent personalities – film thespian Dilip Kumar, former Sheriff of Mumbai Nana Chudasama, social worker Yusuf Merchant and Vipul Kadri, director of NGO, Save The Children, India. All the four dwelt upon Sanjay's good conduct in the society and harped on his helpful attitude towards the needy persons.
In his application it was also stated that he had always behaved well in the society during the pendency of the trial. The object of punishment should be to rehabilitate a convict and in his case the offence was not of a heinous nature that any retribution or deterrence was required. The object should be to rehabilitate him and make him an asset to the society instead of turning him into a hardened criminal by sending him back to jail, the actor said.