With the apex court deadline ending, actor Sanjay Dutt, convicted in 1993 serial bomb blasts case, will have to surrender before the designated TADA court at Fort before 4pm on Thursday.
The actor on Wednesday withdrew his application filed the day before seeking permission to surrender directly to the jail as he alleged that he is facing threats from fundamentalist groups.
However, while the court was waiting for the prosecuting agency to file a reply on Dutt’s application, lawyer Subhash Jadhav representing the actor informed it that he has been instructed to withdraw the plea. However, the lawyer gave no reason for the decision.
The court disposed of the application after special public prosecutor Deepak Salve did not object to the withdrawal. With this development, the actor will have to surrender by Thursday before the designated court.
Meanwhile, Ujjwal Nikam, special public prosecutor who represented the CBI during the trial of the case, said there was no need for such an application. “He has no other option left, and will have to surrender before the court. However, he can still file a mercy petition with the President for reduction in sentence,” Nikam said.
The Supreme Court had upheld his conviction in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case on March 21. However, the apex court had reduced his sentence to five years, one less than the jail term awarded by a TADA court in 2006. While deciding the appeal, the court had asked the convicts who were on bail to surrender before the designated court within four weeks, which ended on April 18.
The actor had thereafter moved the apex court for extension of time to surrender, and was granted fours more weeks, which end on May 16.
Dutt was convicted by the TADA court for illegal possession of a 9mm pistol and an AK-56 rifle that were part of a consignment of weapons and explosives brought to India for coordinated serial blasts which killed 257 people and injured over 700.