MUMBAI: Bollywood Actor Sanjay Dutt addressed the media from his residence earlier today for the first time since the verdict under the Arms was passed against the actor.
A very emotional Sanjay Dutt said that he will surrender to 5 years imprisonment and will not be seeking pardon.
“I am a law abiding citizen. I have the highest respect for the Supreme Court. I will abide to all terms and conditions. I will surrender at the time given. I have not applied for any pardon. There are many other people who deserve pardon. I want to tell with folded hands to the media, the honourable citizens of the country that when I am not going for pardon then there can be no debate about it.” said Dutt.
There have been many debates over whether the actor was judged too harshly and whether or not Dutt should be pardoned. While Bollywood has been unanimous in asking for a pardon, support has also been building for the actor in political circles.
Even as Dutt said that he will not seek pardon, Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman Justice Markandey Katju said that he will still seek pardon for Sanjay Dutt and 1993 Mumbai blasts case convict Zaibunisa.
“I will appeal for Dutt and Zaibunisa’s pardon. It’s true that it was a grave offence and the court has given the right judgement. Sanjay has done some foolish things as a young man, but he is a changed man now and I will appeal for his pardon,” Katju said.
When asked on what grounds he was demanding a pardon, Justice Katju said: “Public good is one of them, there can be many other considerations like humanitarian considerations for grant of pardon. If you study the Articles 72 and 161 of the Constitution, they do not state that who can appeal. Section 72 provides power to the President to pardon and section 161 to the governor. But both sections do not state that who can appeal and it is not written on what grounds pardons can be given. There could be thousands of ground for a pardon.”
Justice Katju also cleared that he had issued his appeal for Dutt without having spoken or interacted to the actor in any way.
“I have not talked to Sanjay Dutt, I have not contacted him, and he has not approached me. In my first appeal which I issued for pardon, I did it without contacting him.” Justice Katju said.
“Right now, I am a shattered man, my family is shattered. There have been very though moments in my life and in our lives (his family). I want to thank everybody who supported us and me. I just want to tell everyone from the media that I have got very few days left and I want to finish all my work. I also have to spend time with my family,” Dutt said.