A day after actor-turned-politician Sanjay Dutt criticised the Congress, holding its “bias against him” responsible for his legal troubles, the party hit back saying Dutt had forgotten “the good deeds of the Congress towards him”.
Official records support claims that the Congress helped and facilitated Dutt’s release from jail.
Angry at being denied permission to contest polls, Dutt had on Wednesday said the Congress was biased against him, and he had done a “sting operation on a senior cabinet minister which proved the bias against him”.
Though Dutt and SP general secretary Amar Singh did not directly name the minister but hinted they were talking of Law Minister HR Bhardwaj.
Bhardwaj rubbished the allegations.
“Dutt is in wrong company and has forgotten his relations with us,” he told Hindustan Times. “He has been misled and has forgotten the good deeds of the Congress towards him.”
The minister’s claim finds support in the form of the stand taken by the CBI lawyers in the Supreme Court. The lawyers representing the investigating agency did not oppose the actor’s bail application in the apex court. Dutt had approached the Supreme Court in November 2006,
after a designated TADA (Terrorists and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act) court had sentenced him to imprisonment.
This was not the only kindness shown to him. The CBI did not file an appeal in the Supreme Court against designated court’s decision to acquit Dutt on TADA charges.
He was the only accused among the five named in the case who was acquitted of TADA charges and convicted only under the Arms Act.
The other four were held guilty under the now repealed TADA also.
The CBI’s decision not to appeal against Dutt being let off under TADA had evoked sharp reactions from the families of his co-accused, who maintained “his relations with powerful and mighty allowed him to escape the law”.
Dutt was found guilty and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment in 2006 for illegal possession of weapons in connection with the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
He is currently out on bail granted by the Supreme Court, but was denied permission by the court earlier this week to contest the Lok Sabha elections.