Mumbai: Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt on Tuesday told a special TADA court that he faced threat to his life from fundamentalist groups. Dutt, convicted in 1993 bomb blasts case, urged the court in Mumbai to allow him to surrender before Yerwada jail in Pune instead of giving himself up before the special court. Judge GA Sanap, hearing the actor's application, asked CBI to file a reply and posted the hearing on Dutt's plea on Wednesday.
Public prosecutor Deepak Salvi appeared for the Government and the CBI. Dutt filed the application in the TADA court, hours after the Supreme Court refused to grant Dutt additional time to surrender for undergoing the remaining 42 months jail term in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
The apex court was hearing a petition filed by a film producer, who sought time for Dutt to complete his under-production films. Dutt, convicted under the Arms Act and sentenced to five year jail term, is supposed to surrender on May 16 before the authorities. On May 10, the apex court had dismissed Dutt's plea seeking review of its judgement on his conviction and five-year jail term.
53-year-old Dutt was earlier granted four weeks more time to surrender to undergo the remaining jail term. The Supreme Court, on March 21, had upheld his conviction in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, which it said was engineered by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and others with the involvement of Pakistan's ISI.
However, the apex court had reduced to five years the six-year jail term awarded to Dutt by a designated TADA court in 2006 while ruling out his release on probation, saying the "nature" of his offence was "serious". Dutt was convicted by the TADA court for illegally possessing a 9 mm pistol and an AK-56 rifle, which were part of a consignment of weapons and explosives brought to India for coordinated serial blasts that killed 257 people and injured over 700 in 1993.
With additional information from PTI