My mother deserves pardon if Dutt does: blasts convict's daughter

Policemen escort actor Sanjay Dutt as he comes out of the Terrorist And Disruptive Activities (Protection) Act (TADA) court during the first day of verdicts in the 1993 bomb attacks case in Mumbai on 12 September 2006. (AFP)

Daughter of 1993 blasts convict Zaibunnisa Kazi, Shagufta, is set to pull out all stops to try and prevent her mother from going back to jail.

In wake of the hue and cry over support for actor Sanjay Dutt from the crème de la crème of the society, Shagufta entered into the fray arguing that if Dutt could be pardoned, so could her mother, as both had been convicted for storing arms and ammunition.

While Kazi was convicted under the stringent Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, Dutt was convicted under the Arms Act. Kazi, who has spent eight months of her five year term in jail, is presently out on bail and has been directed to surrender within four weeks of the Supreme Court judgment.

Shagufta said press council chairman Markandey Katju was slated to send his appeal to the Governor of Maharashtra on Thursday, requesting pardon for Kazi. “He [Katju] was speaking to news channels where he stated that the appeal would be sent tomorrow [Thursday],” she said.

Once the appeal is sent, Shagufta plans to meet lawyers to discuss the next course of action. “We need to have a back-up plan and not just depend on the appeal for pardon,” she said.

Shagufta, a designer by profession, said that she decided to write to Katju after seeing the support Dutt was getting. She said her mother had suffered a lot and her health condition had worsened after undergoing an operation recently.

She pointed out that there had been no recovery of arms from their house and the conviction was based only on the retracted confession of a co-accused. “At least on humanitarian and compassionate grounds she should get some mercy,” Shagufta said.


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