Press Council of India chief Justice Markandey Katju has sent his written appeal to the President of India seeking pardon for both actor Sanjay Dutt and the 71-year-old Zaibunissa Anwar Kazi, who were convicted in the Mumbai bombings of 1993 for arms possessions.
In both his appeals, Katju has referred to Portia´s speech in Shakespeare´s play ´The Merchant of Venice´ - that justice should be tempered with mercy.
While seeking pardon for Dutt, who has been sentenced to five years in jail by the Supreme Court last week after being convicted of possessing illegal arms, Katju said in his appeal that he "may not have remained in prison for 5 years but he has undergone sufferings which is substantially equivalent to that."
He has also argued that if Dutt deserved pardon, he should not be denied of it just because he is an actor.
In seeking pardon for Zaibunissa Kazi, Justice Katju writes, "She can hardly walk or talk. I do not think in her frail health she will survive 5 years in jail."