Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, convicted in the 1993 bomb blasts case, on Tuesday told a Terrorist and Disruptive Activities court that he was facing threat to life from fundamentalist groups and hence should be allowed to surrender before Yerwada jail instead of the special court on Mumbai.
Dutt filed an application before special TADA Judge G A Sanap seeking permission to surrender before the Yerwada jail in Pune instead of giving himself up before the special court in south Mumbai. Dutt, whose conviction under the Arms Act was upheld by the Supreme Court recently, is supposed to surrender on May 16. However, the apex court had reduced to five years the six-year jail term awarded to Dutt by a designated TADA court in 2006 while ruling out his release on probation, saying the "nature" of his offence was "serious".
The applicant (Dutt) is facing a threat to life from fundamentalist groups and those with vested interests," the application said.
It further claimed that the actor wanted to avoid a situation of the past when media persons and camera persons had chased his vehicle from Mumbai to Pune last time he was taken to jail after the TADA court convicted him.
"The media vehicles had chased the applicant's vehicle for 120 kilometres in the past," the application said. Judge Sanap today asked the prosecuting agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation to file a reply and posted the hearing on Dutt's plea on Wednesday.
Public prosecutor Deepak Salvi appeared for the government and the CBI.
Dutt filed the application in the TADA court, hours after the Supreme Court refused to grant the actor additional time to surrender for undergoing the remaining 42 months jail term in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
The apex court was hearing a petition filed by a film producer, who sought time for Dutt to complete his under-production films.