New Delhi: The CBI on Wednesday faced embarrassment in the Supreme Court which said the agency that opted not to challenge Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt's acquittal under anti- terror law TADA in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case was opposing his plea seeking more time for surrender.
"We are saying it in a lighter vein, you have not challenged his (Dutt's) acquittal under TADA when you filed many appeals in other cases. Who prevented you from filing appeal. In many appeals filed by the CBI, we enhanced the sentence," a bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said when the agency pleaded that court should not grant any relief to the actor.
Additional Solicitor General Haren Rawal submitted that no extension of time should be given to Dutt on the ground of "commercial interest" to complete his unfinished films.
He said that any extension given to Dutt would open a floodgate as similar appeals would be made by other convicts also.
The bench, however, was not satisfied with his contention and said that if similar plea is made by the other convicts then it would decide such petitions on case to case basis.
"The prosecuting agency had itself not taken interest in the case," the bench said.
SC grants four weeks more to Sanjay to surrender
A day before the deadline for his surrender ended, Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt on Wednesday got partial relief from the Supreme Court which granted him four weeks time on "humanitarian" grounds to surrender before jail authorities to undergo 42 months remaining sentence in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
Dutt, 53, had sought six months time to surrender to complete his seven movies in which producers have invested over Rs 278 crore.
The apex court accepted the plea of humanitarian grounds raised by him for extending the time for surrender which was to expire tomorrow but made it clear that no further extension will be granted to him.
"Considering the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and reasons stated in the petition, we are not inclined to extend the time by six months. However, we extend the time by four weeks from tomorrow. It is made clear that no further extension will be granted," a bench comprising justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said.
The bench also noted in its order that senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Dutt, has agreed to the same that no further extension will be sought.
Filmmakers relieved as Dutt gets extension
Filmmakers were on Wednesday relieved after the Supreme Court granted Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt four weeks time to surrender but they felt that he should have been given more time to complete his pending projects.
A day before the deadline for his surrender ended, Dutt was given partial relief from the Supreme Court. The apex court granted him four weeks time on "humanitarian" grounds to surrender before jail authorities to undergo 42 months remaining sentence in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
Dutt had sought six months time from the Supreme Court to surrender so he can finish pending work on seven movies, including big-budget projects like filmmaker Raju Hirani's 'Peekay', 'Zanjeer' and others. A total of over Rs 278 crore is riding on him.
Dutt plays the role of a police officer in T P Agarwal's 'Policegiri' and requires almost a week to complete this project.
"We would require him for three-four days for the patch-up work of the film, two-three days for dubbing," producer T P Agarwal told PTI.
"It is good that he got extension... but I think he should have got two-three months time for all his pending projects," he said.
In Apoorva Lakhia's remake version of 'Zanjeer', Dutt plays the role of 'Sher Khan', immortalised by veteran actor Pran in the original film.
"We would require seven days from him for the film. In a way the decision of the Supreme Court is a relief to all of us," Lakhia said.