Dutt files appeal in SC
The jailed actor has filed an appeal in the Mumbai blasts case and has also moved an application seeking bail, reports Bhadra Sinha.
A week after actor Sanjay Dutt was sentenced to six years of rigorous imprisonment for illegal possession of arms during the 1993 Mumbai riots, the Bollywood star on Tuesday filed his appeal against his conviction before the Supreme Court on the ground that no arms or ammunition was ever recovered from his residence or at his instance.
Dutt’s appeal alongwith the bail application has also challenged the six years sentence awarded to him by the special TADA court in Mumbai on July 31. Dutt, who was in jail for 16 months after his arrest in April 1993 and later released on bail, was also fined Rs 25,000 by special judge P D Kode. He was convicted in November last year under the Arms Act for illegal possession of a 9mm pistol and an AK-56 rifle but was acquitted of more serious terrorism charges under the stringent TADA law.
While seeking suspension of his sentence until the apex court decides his appeal, Dutt has in his bail application invoked all possible provisions of law to get out of Yerwada jail, Pune, where he is currently lodged. Interestingly he has not cited his pending film projects for his release.
Dutt has sought bail on the ground that there is no likelihood of his appeal being heard at an early date as the record of the case is extremely voluminous, spanning over 10,000 pages of evidence, 40,000 exhibits, over 10,000 pages of chargesheet and 687 witnesses. Claiming he has undergone the agony of a criminal trial for over 14 years, Dutt has said the agony of a protracted trial itself constitutes a sentence.
Dutt has urged the court to release him under the Probation of Offenders (POA) Act. He has contended before the court that he was on bail for over 12 years and during this period has not violated the conditions stipulated in the bail order passed by the apex court. As an undertrial, Dutt has claimed, he maintained a good conduct in the past.
According to him the judge erred in not releasing him under POA without summoning a report of the probation officer, breaching a mandatory requirement of the law. Dutt has claimed that the provisions of POA are applicable for him and it is not necessary for him to be sentenced as the apex court “may always alter the mode of execution of sentence.”