SC reserves order on Sanjay Dutt’s plea

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its order on actor-turned-politician Sanjay Dutt’s plea seeking a stay on his conviction under the Arms Act in connection with the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.

A bench comprising of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justice P Sathasivam and Justice R.M. Lodha reserved the verdict after hearing several parties involved in the case, including Dutt’s counsel Harish Salve, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) counsel Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium and several other senior lawyers who opposed Dutt’s plea.

The court is expected to announce its verdict within the next two days.

Dutt, who was named by the Samajwadi Party as its candidate for the Lucknow seat in the forthcoming general elections, moved the Supreme Court on March 5.

Defence counsel V R Manohar, who represented Dutt in the case, said he couldn’t contest unless the Supreme Court stays the conviction and suspends the sentence.

Under the Representation of the People’s Act, anyone sentenced to more than two years imprisonment is barred from contesting elections till a court of law stays the conviction and sentence.

On November 27, 2007, Dutt was granted bail by the apex court. He is out on merely on bail following his conviction in the blasts case. So his conviction stands. n July 31, 2007, he was sentenced to a jail term of six years for illegal possession of firearms acquired from terrorist acquaintances, who were responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.

He was, however, “cleared of terrorism conspiracy charges in the blasts.” (ANI)


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