Sanjay Dutt never applied for pardon plea, lawyers

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Sanjay Dutt never sought for a pardon plea, which was rejected by Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao, the jailed actor’s lawyers said on Friday.

Advocates Hitesh Jain and Subhash Jadhav said in a joint statement that the news about the governor turning down the actor’s plea was “purely based on the application made by Justice Markandey Katju seeking pardon for Dutt and other convicts”.

The “PK” actor is on furlough since 27 August for his daughter’s medical problems.

“No such application for grant of pardon was ever made by Dutt or his family members to the governor. Further, Dutt or his family members never approached Justice Katju for making an application on behalf of Dutt,” the statement read.

Dutt was convicted for his role in the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.

After his arrest in 1996, Dutt spent 18 months in jail before getting bail. In 2013 he was sentenced to five years imprisonment and was transferred to the Yerawada Central Jail in Pune for serving the remaining prison term of 42 months.

According to current indications, Dutt is likely to complete his sentence and walk out of prison by the year-end or early 2016.

The latest statement on the actor’s behalf also emphasised that he will be a “free man soon”.

“Justice Katju has suo motto made this application for pardon not only for Dutt but also for other convicts (elderly co-convict Zaibunissa Kazi). It is imperative to note that Dutt has almost undergone his maximum imprisonment under the Arms Act for which he was convicted and shall be a free man soon.”

Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao on 24 September has rejected a plea for pardon for Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who will continue to serve the remainder of his sentence at a Pune jail, official sources said on Thursday.

While rejecting the pardon plea, the governor adhered to the state home ministry’s advice, on – among others – grounds that it could set a wrong precedent. In his plea, Justice Katju had sought a pardon for Dutt on grounds that he was not a terrorist, and also demanded pardon for another elderly co-convict Zaibunissa Kazi.

Earlier, Dutt had himself declared that he would not seek pardon from any quarter and abide by the Supreme Court verdict sending him to jail to serve the remainder of his five-year term at Yerawada Central Jail (YCJ), Pune.

Dutt was convicted for his role in the 12 March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts and after his arrest in 1996, had spent 18 months in jail before getting bail.

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