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We feel vindicated, relieved: Priya Dutt
November 28, 2006 17:08 IST
Last Updated: November 28, 2006 20:35 IST
"I do feel vindicated today," said Congress MP Priya Dutt, heaving a sigh of relief as a special court cleared her brother, actor Sanjay Dutt, of terrorism charges in the 1993 serial blasts case.
"Here is the verdict that Sanjay Dutt is not a terrorist. This is what at the moment we were waiting for," she told reporters after the court convicted him under the Arms Act and acquitted him of charges under the Terrorist And Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.
Priya, a Lok Sabha member, said since the conviction is only under the Arms Act, it will be the High Court where the bail plea will be moved.
"It was a great relief to my family that the tag of a terrorist and charges under the TADA have been removed from him today," she said.
"From feeling like an accused for the last 13 years to Tuesday's verdict has been a long journey. Today, he is free from all that," she said, adding: "In these 13 years, he has matured. He is so much more mature now."
Holding that Sanjay was not a terrorist, Judge P D Kode of the TADA court acquitted him of the serious charge of conspiracy in the 1993 serial blasts but convicted him of the lesser crime of possessing arms.
Sanjay, who spent about 16 months in prison after his arrest in April 1993, was found guilty under the Arms Act for possessing a 9mm pistol and an AK-56 rifle, a prohibited weapon.
Under these charges, he faces a maximum of three years in prison. The court, on Sanjay's plea, extended his bail and asked him to surrender on December 19.