Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who has been convicted under the Arms Act for his role in the 1993 Mumbai bombings, said Thursday he would "surrender" when the time comes and would not be seeking "pardon".
Speaking out for the first time since the Supreme Court verdict last week, Sanjay said there were many others who deserved a pardon more than him. The 53-year-old also appealed to the media for privacy.
He said: "I will surrender in the given time of Supreme Court. I have not applied for any pardon. I want to tell the media and the citizens of our country, when I am not going for a pardon, then there is no debate about it."
An emotional Sanjay, who broke down while addressing the media, said he had the highest respect for the court.
"I am a shattered man, my family is shattered. I want to thank whoever has supported us. I have a lot of work to finish and now I want to spend my time with my family...," said the actor, who is married to Manyata and has twins with her.
He was accompanied at the press conference by his sister and Congress MP Priya Dutt.
On March 21, the Supreme Court upheld Sanjay's conviction under the Arms Act in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and sentenced him to five years in jail.
He was asked to surrender in four weeks to serve his remaining term of about three-and-half years as he has already spent 18 months in jail.
The actor, who has about three weeks' time to surrender, was at the Kamalistan studio to shoot for "Policegiri".
T.P. Aggarwal, producer of "Policegiri", told IANS: "Sanjay Dutt is shooting since morning at Kamalistan Studio for an action sequence. This is a long sequence, which will continue for two more days here. We have almost finished shooting, but eight to 10 days' shoot has been left. We will finish Sanjay's portion."
According to reports, Sanjay will be working in four shifts to finish his professional commitments.
According to a source, the makers of his films "Ungli", "Policegiri" and "P.K" are planning to put up their sets at Filmcity to make things easier for the actor.
Aggarwal said: "I don't know where we will be put up for rest of the shoot, but for sure in some studio."
Several members of film fraternity and some politicians spoke in Sanjay's support.
Press Council of India chairperson Markandey Katju Thursday said he would continue to seek pardon on humanitarian grounds for actor Sanjay and Zaibunissa Kazi, both of whom have been sentenced to five years in prison for their role in the 1993 Mumbai bombings.
Clarifying his position after Sanjay's press conference, Katju said: "Sanjay Dutt may not appeal for pardon, but I will appeal for his pardon. I think he deserves pardon."
However, other political parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena opposed the move, saying it would not be fair to pardon Sanjay.
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I think he deserves a pardon. He's a respectable member of society who has given back a lot and will be far more productive for society outside. What good will it do now to put him in jail and make an example out of him?! Prison sentences are used as a deterrent and to show people the error of their ways and he obviously has seen it already :/
The fact that he's not going to ask for a pardon only shows how much he has grown and improved as a person. I, for one, am extremely saddened by this jail sentence. The judicial system needs to be focusing on more important issues than trying to make themselves look better doing such a thing :/
Edited on:28 March 2013 at 4:13pm
The supreme court of India gave a verdict, Its final.
But, NO, as a society (Politicians, media, bollywood etc.) continue to spend endless amount of TIME, ENERGY, and RESOURCES in arguing that Sanjay Dutt be pardoned. This is simply INSANE and goes on to tell us that there is definitely something wrong with us a society and the INDIAN SYSTEM.
At a time when the country and the world is facing some of the worst pressing economic challenges, we chose to spend time on discussing that Sanjay Dutt be pardoned.
God save us!!!!
Edited on:28 March 2013 at 2:53pm
I think it is right that he not seek a pardon! If he is guilty he should do some time! Hopefully he can get a reduced sentence! But a pardon is too extreme and sends out the wrong message! It will indicate that either being a celebrity or rich is the prerequisite to getting away with crimes or mistakes one has committed! It doesn't matter when the crime took place! Some crimes have no statute of limitation! The law should be the same for ALL, and that message should be communicated loud and clear!
Edited on:28 March 2013 at 2:30pm
As much as I want him to stay outside, if he is pardoned, it will set a horrible example for all the rich youth in India...who will get the message that its ok, we are rich, we will get away with anything...so I don't think he should be pardoned from it, may be the sentence can be decreased to respect the judgement by the supreme court.
He should not be pardoned because it is not fair to all the others people who were never pardoned. Plus, unlike other accomplices who were tried under TADA Sanju has not been tried under TADA, which has been his biggest pardon already.
He should be pardoned. The last 20 years have been his sentence.
Why has it taken 20 years. That's a lifetime. Shameful.
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