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Sanjay Dutt goes to jail

July 31, 2007

Today Sanjay Dutt was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment by The Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court. He was expected to get 5-10 years as he was convicted last year in November of buying arms from terrorists. He could have got maximum of 10 years for his deeds, but he is getting only six.

He was young then and brash, but he was an adult and hobnobbing with the underworld. Therefore the judge turned down the request for parole. I had written a fairly detailed post on this in January this year. Quoting from it:

The court has extended his bail to February 6th. But he isn’t happy. He wants to go on parole…like forever stay out of jail for what he did. Which was to buy dangerous weapons from dangerous people. He could get 5-10 years in jail under the Arms Act, but he has appealed under section 4 of the Probation of Offenders Act. This Act allows offenders to be released on a bond of assurance of good conduct for a period not less than three years.

Well, this plea was rejected. Even though Sanjay was deemed innocent of acts of terrorism, he was guilty of buying arms from terrorists. In this same post I had written about the public sympathy for Sanjay and had said:

However, if you ask me, I doubt that Sanjay will go to prison for five years. Even if the courts indict him now…ways and means will be found to get him off later. That’s the kind of ‘faith’ I have in our legal system! And in this case, I might even be glad.

I don’t know whether this will happen…for now at least Sanjay goes to jail. He will have to abide by the laws of our country which say that if you buy arms from terrorists you could get 10 years in jail.

True, I feel some sympathy for him (seeing his haggard, suffering face) but the fact is that I cannot see any logic in the outburst of the film industry. On CNN IBN film people were ranting about why aren’t other people who buy assault weapons from the underworld (like politicians and other rich brats) going to jail? Why Sanjay?

Well, I can never agree with people who say things like ‘Why catch me, catch him!’ If we followed this logic no one would go to jail!

So while I feel sorry for the guy as he is not a killer or a terrorist and nor do I believe that he knew that these guys were going to bomb Mumbai plus I believe the guy has reformed himself…the fact is that I do not believe that he should be excused because he is a celebrity or because others who do the same thing are roaming free.

The law is the law. If Sanjay gets off early for good behavior, well and good.

Related Reading: Read more about the Sanjay Dutt case here.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2007 9:10 am

    A very sensible analysis, Nita!
    I have been tired of the two extreme reactions:
    1) All these film stars are underworld people. Sanju should be hanged to teach others a ‘lesson’ – the overeager “punish-rich” moralists
    2) Ooh Sanju is such an amazing human being. He is such a loving brother and caring father. And a very professional actor. So please forgive him – the entire film fraternity.

    It was so refreshing to see a balanced look into the case.

  2. August 1, 2007 10:04 am

    Thanks Vasuki, yes I agree that the extreme reactions that are being aired on tv are very tiring. Some people also feel that as Sanju is reformed he should not be punished. But the fact is that the law does punish, thats why its there…and in any case its not possible for every judge to take a call on whether the offender has reformed or not! I mean what if people who are convicted of more serious offences also demand to be let off because they have ‘reformed.’?

  3. B Chopra permalink
    August 1, 2007 10:13 am

    ‘Why catch me, catch him!’ If we followed this logic no one would go to jail!

    – This is a good answer to Kiran Kher who was on TV Y’day on Times Now channel.. defending Sanjoo Baba..

    I wonder why people call him “amazing human being”.. This Title looks so funny on him.. huh!! I guess Films has good impact for the actors not the script writer who wrote Munna bhai movie. That’s the reason I guess 47% are with him on TOI poll.

  4. August 1, 2007 10:27 am

    I heard Kiron Kher and that Kabir Bedi too. Frankly I felt their reaction was completely illogical. Maybe I am being cynical but I wonder whether there is a commercial interest here…or they know some producer well who will now suffer commercially.

  5. August 1, 2007 2:48 pm

    “plus I believe the guy has reformed himself…”

    I am just curious as to what he has reformed himself? It doesn’t seem clear enough to me.


  6. padmini permalink
    August 1, 2007 2:56 pm

    Why catch him and not others, especially politicians? I think it is because someone needs to look good here, rubbing their hands and saying, “See, we do our jobs even if you don’t think so”. And Sanjay Dutt fit the part perfectly.

  7. Ragu permalink
    August 1, 2007 4:22 pm

    But why the law punishes a person who is 48 years old when the crime was actually committed when he was 34. Why not punish the law itself for being so slow and not serving the very purpose of law.

  8. Ragu permalink
    August 1, 2007 4:26 pm

    To the poeple of India.

    You can do whatever crime you want. You will not be punished for at least a decade. So you keep on doing whatever you want, but please commit suicide before the law takes its course.

  9. August 1, 2007 5:17 pm

    Depressed Doormat: Actually by that people mean that he is no more a drug addict, and no more goes for dinner parties with the underworld. He was allegedly quite friendly with several gangsters when he was younger, before the Mumbai blasts.

  10. Azeem permalink
    August 1, 2007 10:16 pm

    hi Nita
    regarding your comment : So while I feel sorry for the guy as he is not a killer or a terrorist and nor do I believe that he knew that these guys were going to bomb Mumbai

    I believe he knew exactly what he was doing
    Please go through the text i copied from tehelka website regarding Sanjay Dutt
    website :

    { The police picked up Sanjay from the airport, allowed him to sleep on the sofa in one of the officers’ rooms, and at 10am the next day, the then Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) MN Singh and his deputy Rakesh Maria started the interrogation. Sanjay broke down and narrated the entire story. The same evening, Sunil Dutt and his daughter Priya Dutt met Sanjay in the presence of the police officers. Sunil Dutt was still not ready to believe that his son could have been involved in the blasts conspiracy. Maria told Sanjay to tell his father the truth, and Sanjay conceded that he had been in possession of an assault rifle and some ammunition that he had got from Anees Ibrahim. Sunil Dutt wanted to know the reason why.

    He was not prepared for the answer: “Because I have Muslim blood in my veins. I could not bear what was happening in the city.” A crestfallen Sunil Dutt left the police headquarters. It was a moment almost worse than the shock of the previous day. }

    I think he got away with just 5 yrs

  11. August 2, 2007 2:35 pm

    This issue seems far too complex for me to judge in black and white. There are shades of gray all over. I can’t decide if he deserved a longer sentence or less. But here are some facts which have disturbed me.

    I read (on wiki) that he asked for the rifle given to him to be burnt by an aide. That shows he knew what he was doing. The next thing is, the inventory of arms and ammunition with him. 3 assault rifles (which are hardly used in small time gang wars I presume) and a bunch of (25 I believe) grenades. I am not sure if anyone can be stupid enough to think that this was just for the normal mob wars.

    The next thing I read, though I couldn’t find enough info on it, is about a man by the name Abhimanyu Altekar. He was held by the police (it says for 16 years on wiki) for a crime he did not commit. I was hoping you could find out more, given your ties with the media. If this is true, then justice delayed is justice denied. The same would hold true for this case. And it shows the disparity of the cases (all while assuming the information is true), of celeb/common man in the eyes of the law.

    It isn’t the job of a court judge to rule if the culprit is reformed or not. That occurs in the parole stages, though I am unsure if we have a similar system in India. So the point is, for the nature of the crime (reform etc not being a valid excuse anymore) 6 years is too little. As for the excuse that he was left with no choice because the life of his family was in jeopardy, which trivializes the lives that were lost on that day. And if every crime is forgiven on grounds of duress, then we have on our hands a lawless system.

    As for the film industry, they always stand by their own, even if they disagree with the act. It has been seen in the past, even with the Salman/Saif black buck incidents. I am also disturbed by the media talking about how badly hit the film industry will be hit, because it trivializes the act, and the role he played in the bomb blasts. Whether people want to believe he is innocent or guilty of terrorism, the fact remains he was an accessory to the above mentioned crime.

    As for being targeted by the courts due to his status as an actor, I think it is safe to say, that actors have always been saved by their high social standings in such crimes, and fanaticism runs so rampant amongst Indians, their idol worship of their sports and movie start, that in the end they can get away even with murder.

    The judge’s statement about him being a fan of Sanjay Dutt’s movies was out of line as far as I am concerned. In the courtroom, the judge is a judge and SD is the accused. Being a loved and admired actor does not reduce the severity of the crime and all references as to his professional prowess should be left out. The judge could always visit jail and convey the same, outside court if he felt compelled to.

  12. Prakash permalink
    August 9, 2007 9:55 am

    If everone is equal in the eyes of law then certainly the SC should not grant any concessions to be it Sanjay Dutt or others. Firstly, they do crimes & then they claim to be good citizens in their locality. If such being the case then the youths of today shall follow the same by commiting crimes outiside their neighbourhood & be good in their neighbourhoods. May be same would then also apply for Arun Gawli who is a good person in his colony?

    Ask those who have either lost their family members or were affacted out of all this rather then checking with those with whom there was no effect of such crimes.

    Also, just because politicians or other criminals are not punsihed doesnt mean that law should start for anyone on this pretext.

    In fact Sanjay Dutt seems to have a motto of trying eveything in life be it drugs, mafia, weapons, etc & seek mercy for all of them using his political connections.

    Lets hope the law really proves to be unifrom for one and all in this country of Bapu.

  13. Jade permalink
    August 10, 2007 3:26 am

    Thisn is simply amazing. THe celebs feel that anyone that htey are in touch with, specifically their own folks are all NICE PEOPLE. And there is no need to punish them!!!! These are the same ones who demand that there should be equal justice for all, viz. the common man.
    Sanjay is said to have suffered for 14 years, wow!! All trials in India go on for years. By that yardstick everyone should be set free after the trial extends into years. No need for jails in INdia anymore. They feel that they have a handle on the law and should be give special treatment, no matter how serious the crime. I guess their strdom gets them carried away. Well, this is a good awakening. You may have all the money in the world and be as famous as ever, but if you play with the law, be ready for when it stings you.

  14. August 10, 2007 7:02 am

    Jade when you say that
    //By that yardstick everyone should be set free after the trial extends into years//
    you hit the nail on the head. But try talking logic to these celebs! I have seen them on tv and frankly i have realised that the celebs who are supporting Sanjay are not just living in a world insulated from reality, not just arrogant, but also stupid. they continue to think that sanjay is being made an example, that he is being targeted!

  15. Shrinivas permalink
    August 14, 2007 9:18 am

    Please remember that Sanjay Dutt was also part of the Underworld – Film Industry nexus many years after the 93 incidence. That means he continues to indulge in questionable activities, contradicting the claims that he is a changed man and a kind man. BTW, Just because the case went on for so long, should his post crime behavior be looked at?
    It’s high time some high-profile politicians also put behind the bars for the past crimes committed.

  16. August 26, 2007 12:04 pm

    it is good to see such a news, because law is law for all either he should be politicians or filmstar or beggar. i think in this case the law in fully utlitize.

  17. sarbjit permalink
    September 12, 2007 8:55 am

    I don’t understand why sanjay dutt has to go to jail because the blast was in 1993 long time ago.

  18. September 12, 2007 9:20 am

    Sarbjit, as the majority of our cases take years, does that mean that the majority of criminals should be excused?

  19. Abhimanyu Altekar permalink
    October 7, 2009 1:02 am

    Hi All
    Now what do you say about Shiney Ahuja’s Case ?
    – Abhimanyu Y. Altekar


  1. The Acorn » The value of sending Sanjay Dutt to jail

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