|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Sanjay Dutt's sentencing put off to Friday
Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | May 16, 2007 10:17 IST
Last Updated: May 16, 2007 15:32 IST
A Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) court hearing the 1993 Mumbai blasts case on Tuesday said it would decide on the application filed by actor Sanjay Dutt and others under Probation of Offenders Act, at the time of pronouncement of sentences.
The sentencing is expected to start on May 18. Special judge Pramod Kode, however, indicated that the court would be calling for Probation Officer's report prior to deciding on the application, in respect of some of the accused.
The judge, however, refused to disclose in whose regard the report would be called for. The court also asked the prosecution to furnish the names and addresses of concerned Probation Officers from whom the reports are to be called.
The court in November had given Dutt a clean chit under the anti-terror law TADA and had specifically said that he was not a terrorist.
He was convicted for a lesser offence under the Arms Act for possessing an AK-56 rifle and a 9 mm pistol. Dutt has already spent 16 months in jail between 1993-95.
Dutt's lawyer V R Manohar has already applied for his relief under the Probation of Offenders Act that allows courts to release a person convicted of offences not punishable by death or life sentence.
Manohar had argued in the court that Dutt should be relieved from his charges under this act as he can reform himself and prevent from turning into a hardened criminal by having to share a jail with other convicts.
The Central Bureau of Investigations had opposed relief to Dutt in the court and argued that he was 34 year old when he kept those weapons at home.
Public Prosecutor, Ujjwal Nikam opposing relief to Dutt, had argued in the court that Dutt was not a minor not to know that it was illegal and unlawful act to keep such weapons at home.
Judge Kode will announce the verdict against all the rest of the blast accused of 1993 from May 18.
100 people have already been convicted and another 23 were discharged in the trial that lasted more than 13 years.
The main accused Yaqoob Memon, brother of the mastermind of blast Tiger Memon has been found guilty and his quantum of sentence will be the first to be announced on Friday.
Tiger however is absconding till date.
(With PTI Inputs)