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Sanjay Dutt asks for more time before surrendering – would be unfair to other victims to grant him time




Sanjay Dutt had been given a time of 30 days as part of the sentencing by the Supreme Court; this was the time period required for the convicted in the Bombay Blast case to surrender and start serving the sentence. The date required for him to surrender before the court is April 18, and this time period is right around the corner. In mid-April, the Supreme Court, while hearing the case related to the Bombay Blasts, had given the final judgment (if you exclude any reviews of the judgment, which are rare enough, especially in a case related to terror and a high number of deaths). One of the people impacted by the judgment is Sanjay Dutt, who had managed to overcome his earlier bad boy image and become a more dependable super-star. And this is the reason given by a number of people to apply for clemency for him, such as former Supreme Court judge Katju. What they argue is that he has already done his sentence (he has so far served 18 months in jail during the duration of the trial in different courts as the case made its way up the Indian legal system), that he is now reformed, and that because of his propagation of the aims of Mahatma Gandhi in his previous movie, he has made many points. This argument is flawed on many points and was finally dumped (and no part of the Indian Government can afford to pardon Sanjay Dutt while letting many of the other convicted serve their terms in jail; and the argument about Lage Rahe Munna Bhai is also flawed on many points, one of them being the liberal consumption of alcohol in the movie, right through the movie, and alcohol was not particularly on the favorite list of the Mahatma).
As the time for the surrender loomed, Sanjay Dutt has made another plea, one that was shown as a particular point of concern soon after the judgment – the number of movies that were on the floor and starring Sanjay Dutt. With a time period of 1 month left, it would not be possible to shoot all these movies, and also it would not have been possible since you would have expected him to also have time with family and friends. The amount riding on him was projected to be more than Rs. 200 crore, which is a large sum. So it would be logical to grant the time of 6 months that he asked for, right ? Unfortunately, it would be real problematic if he was given this time off. Just today, the Supreme Court refused to grant time off to many of the other accused in the case (link to article):

Three 1993 Mumbai blasts convicts’ petitions for extension of time to surrender on the ground that their clemency pleas are pending before President Pranab Mukherjee, were on Tuesday dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Zaibunnisa Anwar Kazi (70), Issaq Mohd Hajwane (76) and Shariff Abdul Gafoor Parker (88) alias Dadabhai had moved the apex court seeking more time to surrender in order to undergo sentences awarded to them.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir rejected their petitions, saying extension of time to surrender cannot be given on the ground that clemency plea is pending before the President.

When others have not been given time off to surrender, it would be real surprising if Sanjay Dutt was given time off to surrender. As to the part about movies being stuck, one would have expected the producers of the movies to have done risk planning before they started the movie, and with the amount of money involved, to keep on doing the risk planning. If they were not able to have a Plan B to account for the fact that the serious case against Sanjay Dutt might go wrong, then one cannot really expect the criminal justice system to account for their mistakes.




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