Amid the growing clamour for considering a pardon for convicted Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, the Shiv Sena Monday opposed the move on the grounds that it would send "a wrong message" to society.
"There is no need for a rethink on the Supreme Court judgment. If Dutt is given a pardon, it will send a wrong message to society," said Shiv Sena legislator Neelan Gorhe, while speaking on a debate in the legislative council on the law and order situation in Maharashtra.
She said leaders from various political parties have demanded that Dutt be pardoned.
"However, if leniency is shown to Dutt, it would be tantamount to providing a political cover to convicts," Gorhe argued.
Her assertions came in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict March 19 which upheld Dutt's conviction for illegal possession of prohibited weapons like an AK-56 assault rifle and a revolver and sentenced him to five years in jail.
Following the judgment, various film personalities, politicians cutting across parties appealed to the Maharashtra government to initiate proceedings to enable Dutt to get a pardon from the state governor.
Interestingly, the Dutts have been very close to the Thackeray family. The late actor-turned -politician Sunil Dutt and late Sena supremo Bal Thackeray enjoyed a strong personal rapport despite differing political backgrounds.