Friday, March 29, 2013

Sanjay Dutt to surrender, says he has not applied for pardon

MUMBAI, March 29, 2013

Actor Sanjay Dutt on Thursday broke down in tears as he made it clear that he had not applied for pardon and will surrender to the authorities as per the Supreme Court order in the 1993 Bombay bomb blasts case. He has been sentenced to five-year jail term for illegal possession of weapons.

"I am a law abiding citizen and respect the law with highest respect for the Supreme Court and its decision. I will abide by all the terms and conditions put forward in the court order and I will surrender in a time frame given in the court order," he said in Mumbai in his first public appearance after the court verdict.

Mr. Dutt, accompanied by his sister and Congress MP Priya Dutt, could not control his emotions while addressing journalists outside his residence. He hugged his sister, hiding his tears and left without answering any questions. "I love my country and I love the citizens of this country," he said before leaving.

\"I have not applied for pardon. There are others who deserve pardon. Since I am not going for pardon, there should not be any debate over this," he said, bursting in to tears.

The actor said he and his family were shattered after hearing the verdict and it had been a tough time since then. "I have very few days left and I will be finishing all my commitments in the remaining time. I request you with folded hands to let me spend my time in peace," he pleaded.

Mr. Dutt had spent 18 months in jail and will have to serve three-and-half years in prison as per the court verdict.

Katju to seek pardon

PTI reports from New Delhi:

Notwithstanding Mr. Dutt's statement, Press Council of India Chairman Markandey Katju on Thursday said he would still go ahead and seek pardon for the actor and blasts case convict Zaibunnisa. "Mr. Dutt's statement makes no difference to me; I am going to apply for pardon to the President and to the Governor [of Maharashtra]. I think he and Zaibunnissa deserve pardon," he said. On what grounds he was demanding pardon, he said: "public good is one of them; there can be many other considerations like humanitarian considerations for grant of pardon."

Last week, Mr. Katju wrote to Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, requesting him to exercise his powers and pardon the actor.
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