Katju would still seek Sanjay pardon

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 28, 2013 12:27 hrs

Even as Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt made it clear that he is not seeking any pardon, Justice Markandey Katju said he will make an appeal both for Dutt and Zaibunissa Kazi, who were convicted in the Mumbai bombings of 1993 for arms possessions.

"He (Sanjay) might deny to appeal. That makes no difference for me. I am going to make an appeal both for him and for Kazi," said Justice Katju just after Dutt declared his stand.

"Two days back I received an email from Shagufta, daughter of Zaibunnisa, who was a co-accused in the bomb blast case, and was convicted under section 3(3) and 6 of TADA and sentenced by the Supreme Court to 5 years imprisonment. Shagufta requested that I should appeal for pardon for her mother too, just as I had done for Sanjay Dutt," Katju wrote in his blog on Wednesday.

Dutt, who was sentenced for a five year jail term in the 1993 Mumbai bombings, on Thursday said he is not seeking any pardon and would surrender before the law of the land and go to jail.

Amid a clamour for his pardon with the special powers of the governor, which also triggered a debate on whether he should be pardoned for his connections and stature, Sanjay Dutt appeared before media for the first time along with her sister and Congress MP Priya Dutt and said there is no debate on him or his pardon since he has decided to surrender before law and wishes of the Supreme Court.

"I have not applied for any pardon. There are many other people who deserve pardon. I with folded hand tell the media, and senior media people that when I have not applied for pardon there is no debate about it," said Dutt as he broke down while speaking and hugged his sister.

"Right now I am a shattered man. My family is shattered. These are very very tough times in our lives. I thank everybody who supported me," he said.

"I got a few days left. I have a lot of work. I have to finish all my work," he said, adding that he would like to spend the few days before going to jail with his family all the time.

"I love my country and I love the citizens of my country. I love India," he said, requesting the media to allow him some peace before he turn himself in.

He said he is a law abiding citizen and has highest respect for the Supreme Court.

"The honorable Supreme Court has given time for surrender and I will surrender," he said.

Earlier, MP Jaya Prada and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh on Tuesday met Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan to request him to pardon Sanjay Dutt.

Singh said both the trial court and the Supreme Court had ruled that Dutt was not a terrorist and alleged that the actor was being crucified by a section of the media.

Actor-politician Jaya Prada said, "Sanjay Dutt has been punished. He has reformed. He spread the word of Gandhi."

Veteran actress Jaya Bachchan also expressed her support for Sanjay Dutt and said she would meet the Governor too.

Several political leaders and film personalities have voiced their support for Dutt as the chorus for granting pardon to the Bollywood actor grew louder since the Supreme Court sentenced him on Thursday last.

The Supreme Court sentenced for five years Sanjay Dutt to jail for illegal arms possession during the Mumbai bombings that had killed 257 people in 1993 in the nation´s financial hub.

Dutt, who is the son of late legendary actor couple Nargis Dutt and Sunil Dutt, was accused of illegal possession of arms as lethal as 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.

The actor was given four weeks to surrender though he is likely to file a review petition.

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 (believed to be hiding in Pakistan now) and two other terrorists-Tiger Memon and his brother Yakub Memon.

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