New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday sentenced for five years Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, after his conviction in an arms case just as it confirmed the death sentence of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon and reduced the death sentence of 10 others to life.
Dutt was earlier sentenced to six years of imprisonment by a TADA court in July 2007. Dutt, who is out on bail now after spending 18 months in prison, had challenged his conviction in the Supreme Court.
Dutt was accused of illegal possession of arms, including an AK-56 rifle. He was, however, acquitted of graver charges under TADA or the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.
Effectively Sanjay Dutt will now have to spend three years and eight months in jail.
Dutt was given four weeks to surrender.
The court said that on the gravity of the crime Sanjay Dutt will not get a probation as he had asked for, media report said. Sanjay has an option of filing a review petition.
Meanwhile, his lawyer Satish Maneshinde said, "Once we receive the Supreme Court order, we will then advise Dutt. Unfortunate that this has happened. We will abide the Supreme Court's order."
The Central Bureau of Investigation had also moved appeals seeking enhancement of sentence of 47 persons who were convicted of lesser offence. CBI had filed 48 appeals of which 20 were against those who were acquitted of all the charges. The CBI hadn't appealed against Dutt's acquittal under TADA.
Yakub Memon, brother of absconding Tiger Memon, was one of those sentenced to death. Tiger Memon along with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and Mohammed Dossa were alleged to have hatched the conspiracy in Dubai to carry out the serial blasts following the communal riots that broke out post-Babri masjid demolition.
The special anti-terrorism court in Mumbai had commenced the trial November 4, 1993, and pronounced its 4,230-page verdict on July 31, 2007.
On March 12, 1993, twelve coordinated blasts in Bombay Stock Exchange, Air India Building at Nariman Point and hotels Sea Rock and Juhu Centaur resulted in death of at least 257 people and injury to more than 700.
It was alleged that the blasts were the instruments to avenge the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya in December 1992 and were allegedly conspired by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and his brother Ayub Memon.
The blasts resulted in the conviction of 100 people; out of which 11 were sentenced to death, while another 22 were given life terms by a TADA court.