1993 blasts: Sanjay Dutt withdraws plea to surrender in Yerwada Jail

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Mumbai: Actor Sanjay Dutt has withdrawn the application that he earlier filed in TADA court seeking to surrender before Yerwada Jail authorities in Pune.

Citing threats from fundamentalist groups, Dutt on Tuesday pleaded with the designated TADA court to allow him to surrender before Yerawada Jail in Pune instead of appearing before the special court on Thursday, the scheduled date.

TADA court judge G A Sanap has asked the CBI to file a reply and posted the hearing on the actor’s latest plea to Wednesday.

Dutt has been convicted for possessing a prohibited firearm which had come, according to subsequent police investigations, as a part of the arms and explosives smuggled to carry out the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts that left around 250 people dead and over 700 maimed and injured.

Dutt, in his three stints inside the prison in 1993,1995 and 2006, has already served around one-and-a-half-year jail term before coming out on bail.

The Supreme Court on March 21 upheld his conviction under the Arms Act and asked him to complete his five-year prison term; thereafter on April 15, he moved the apex court seeking additional time for surrender.

Though he was granted four weeks more time for surrender on May 10, a similar plea made once again by the actor was rejected by the Supreme Court.

Making incarceration of actor Sanjay Dutt almost certain, the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined a plea for extension of time for him to surrender for serving a three-and-half year of jail term in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. Dutt, 53, is to surrender on May 16.

Film producer T P Agarwal, who made “Policegiri” and “Vasooli,” approached the apex court for further time for the actor to surrender. A Bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra refused to hear the Agarwal’s plea.

“We had already said that no further application for extension of time will be entertained,” the Bench said.

Dutt on April 17 got a reprieve from the apex court which had extended deadline to surrender by four weeks to serve remaining 42 months out of the five-year jail term awarded to him for possessing an illegal armament in connection with the case. He had sought the relief on humanitarian ground in order to let him complete films under production. He claimed Rs 278 crore was at stake.

By allowing his earlier plea, the Bench, however had said “we should not exceed the ‘Laxman Rekha’ of four weeks. Dutt’s counsel had also assured the court that no application for further time extension would be filed.

A review petition filed by Dutt against his five-year jail term was dismissed on May 10. The apex court had on March 21 upheld the conviction of Dutt under the Arms Act but reduced his six-year sentence for possessing AK 56 rifle by one year.

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