Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who is currently serving his five year jail term after being convicted in the 1993 bomb blasts case, made it clear that he had never filed for pardon with the Maharashtra Governor nor had he requested anyone else to do so on his behalf.
Dutt’s advocates Hitesh Jain and Subhash Jadhav, in a statement released today said the recent articles stating that Maharashtra Governor has turned down the actor’s plea for pardon, are based on an application made by retired Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju seeking pardon for Dutt and other convicts in the case.
“No such application for grant of pardon was ever made by Sanjay Dutt or his family members to the Governor seeking pardon. Further, Sanjay Dutt or his family members never approached former Supreme Court Justice Katju for making an application for pardon on behalf of Dutt,” the statement said.
“Justice Katju has suo moto made this application for pardon not only for Dutt but also for other convicts in the case like Zaibunissa Kazi,” it added.
The statement said that Dutt has almost finished his imprisonment and shall be a free man soon.
Katju had petitioned Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao to pardon Dutt as he was “not a terrorist” and had only “erred”.
Rao had two days back rejected the pardon plea following the advice of the Maharashtra Home Department which had recommended that granting Dutt pardon would set a bad precedent.
56-year-old Dutt was convicted in 2007 by a special TADA court under the Arms Act for possession of arms and sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment. Dutt had spent 18 months in jail in 1996 after his arrest.
In May 2013, the actor surrendered after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction and sentence. The actor has since then been lodged in the Yerwada Central prison at Pune.