Millennium Post

SC gives Dutt 4 more weeks to surrender

The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to grant six months’ time to Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt to surrender in order to serve his remaining jail term in the Mumbai bomb blasts case. However, it gave him partial relief of four weeks on humanitarian grounds. The court said that the four weeks’ time will start from 18 April.

A bench of Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan also clarified that Dutt would not be granted any relief further. Dutt has to serve his remaining three-and-a-half years’ jail term in the Mumbai bomb blasts case for possessing illegal arms. He has already been in jail for 18 months earlier in the case. The CBI opposed Dutt’s plea for six months to complete his pending film projects before surrendering in the court, saying that the same plea will be used as a precedent by other convicts for seeking enhancement of time to surrender. The court said that if similar plea is made by the other convicts then it would decide such petitions on case to case basis.

Dutt had approached the apex court urging it to allow him to finish shooting of his films which will take at least 196 days according to him. His had said he should be allowed to surrender after completion of his films as over Rs 278 crores has been invested by producers. An apex court bench, before whom the matter was mentioned on Tuesday, said Dutt’s plea should be heard by the same bench which had passed the judgement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.

The Supreme Court on 21 March had upheld Dutt’s conviction under the Arms Act by a designated TADA court for possessing illegal arms. The apex court, however, had reduced his sentence from six years to five years. The court had also rejected his application for release on probation on the ground that the nature of offence was so serious that Dutt cannot be released on probation.
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