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Sanjay Dutt can contest LS polls, says his lawyer

By Our Correspondent | January 08, 2009 17:56 IST

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Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt's [Images] decision to contest the next Lok Sabha election from Lucknow has surprised many political experts.

Questions have been raised about whether Dutt is eligible to contest the polls, as he had been convicted under the Arms Act and sentenced to six years in jail by the Special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act Court in July 1997.

However, Dutt's lawyer Farhana Shah is confident that Dutt will be allowed to contest the LS polls.

"The Supreme Court of India has stayed his sentence and he has filed an appeal for an acquittal. At the moment, Sanjay Dutt is out on bail. So he can contest the elections," said Shah.

Shah has been Dutt's lawyer for the last 14 years, ever since his name cropped up in connection to the 1993 Mumbai [Images] serial blasts. 

"The final order of the Supreme Court is still pending and it has not come up for hearing. As and when the judgment comes, he will be free to contest the election. He has also travelled abroad after taking permission from the court," said Shah.

Without naming anyone in particular, Shah pointed out, "There are many famous politicians whose cases are similar and they have been elected to the Parliament." 

Shah further added, "Sanjay is a very good person. He is very cooperative. He listens to people. He is gentle and is involved in charity. I don't know how he will fare in politics. We will have to wait and see but I am sure his sister Priya Dutt (Congress MP from Mumbai) will help him with her experience in politics."

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