Maharashtra Governor Ch.Vidyasagar Rao has reportedly rejected an appeal made by former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju two-and-half-years ago, seeking pardon for Bollywood actor – Sanjay Dutt – who was convicted for illegal possession of arms in the Mumbai 1993 blasts case.
In his appeal, Katju had sought pardon for Dutt under Article 161 of the Constitution, saying that he had not been found guilty of playing a role in the 1993 blasts and had suffered a lot.
Katju said the Supreme Court, having found that Sanjay Dutt had in his possession a prohibited weapon without a licence, awarded him the minimum imprisonment which was prescribed under law.
“Section 25 (1(A) of the Arms Act states that if a person has in his possession a prohibited weapon without a licence, he shall be awarded punishment of not less than 5 years imprisonment and not more than 10 years,” Katju said.
He added the power of pardon under Article 161 by the Constitution is different from judicial power as the Governor or the President can grant pardon or reduce the sentence of the court even if a minimum is prescribed.
The Supreme Court had convicted Dutt under the Arms Act for possessing weapons in 2013 and sentenced to six years in jail. He had spent about 18 months behind bars earlier and is now serving his remaining 42-month jail term. He has been out on parole and furlough a few times since May 2013.
Dutt is currently out on a parole yet again on account of his daughter’s nose surgery.