Though the news of a threat to actor Sanjay Dutt did create some storm among the authorities at Arthur Road jail, which had allegedly received a letter to this effect a few days ago, the sudden withdrawal of his application on Wednesday seeking permission to surrender at the Yerawada jail in Pune instead of the designated TADA court in Fort citing this ground, seems to be a gimmick, legal experts said.
YP Singh, former IPS officer turned lawyer, said the actor is misusing legal options available as remedies. “This was nothing but a desperate measure to see if they can get any benefit. But this is nothing but misuse of the law. It seems the gimmick was just to gain sympathy and create public opinion in his favour,” Singh said.
Farhana Shah, who represented most of the convicts in the trial of the 1993 blasts, said the move was not in accordance with the law. “The application was unwarranted. The prayer sought was not as per procedure, and is against the law. In such circumstances, they would have realised that the chances of succeeding were little, followed by which they would have thought about withdrawing the application,” said Shah.
Senior advocate Majeed Memon said that Dutt has to surrender as per the procedure like the other convicts in the case. “Sanjay, like any other convict, has to surrender to undergo the sentence period, which is normal for any convict. The apprehension of the threat to his life needs to be examined for its authenticity. If there is substance, the authorities would suggest an alternate arrangement. Otherwise, like any other convict, he is expected to surrender and serve the remaining of his period of sentence,” Memon said.