Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt was sentenced to five years jail by the Supreme Court on Thursday for possession of illegal weapons in a long-running case linked to the 1993 Mumbai bombings.
Dutt said on Thursday he is ‘shattered’ by the Supreme Court verdict sentencing him to five years in prison in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case. He said he will complete all his pending films, and that he ought to be strong in these trying times for his family and children.
“I know in my heart that I have always been a good human being, respected the system and always been loyal to my country.”
“I have already suffered for 20 years and been in jail for 18 months. If they want me to suffer more I have to be strong. I am heart broken because today along with me, my three children, my wife and my family will undergo the punishment,” he said in a statement.
The entertainment industry reacted with shock to news of Dutt’s sentencing with the actor seen by some fans as a victim of his star lineage and own fame.
“It is a big blow. He was a prominent actor and a father figure to many in the industry,” said Bollywood trade analyst Amod Mehra. “There are 250 crore rupees riding on him.”
His lawyer Satish Maneshinde told reporters that the length of sentence had come as a shock to Dutt who has continued to make a long list of films despite the legal action against him.
“We will wait for a copy of the Supreme Court judgment and then decide the further course of action. He is a strong man and will fight back,” he said, adding that his client would need to serve three years and six months as he had already been in jail for 18 months.
The actor, who was convicted under the Arms Act for illegally possessing weapons, had been awarded six years imprisonment by the TADA (Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act) court. However, the Supreme Court reduced the sentence from six years to five years. This effectively means that Dutt will be in jail for three years and six months as he has already undergone 18 months imprisonment.
The Supreme Court Thursday upheld Sanjay Dutt’s conviction under the Arms Act in the terror attack for illegal possession of a 9 mm pistol and an AK-56 rifle.
Dutt, the son of Bollywood legends Nargis and Sunil Dutt, has films like the Zanjeer remake, Policegiri, Munna Bhai 3 and P.K. in the works.