Mumbai: Four weeks after the Supreme court granted actor Sanjay Dutt time to surrender before the TADA court in the 1993 Bombay blasts case, the deadline ends on Wednesday. But there are doubts over whether he will surrender at the TADA court after Dutt filed an application seeking to surrender directly at Mumbai's Arthur Road prison or Pune's Yerawada jail.
Dutt has claimed that he fears being chased by the media and that he faces threat from fundamentalists. The special TADA Court will decide on the matter on Wednesday after the CBI files its reply.
Dutt on Tuesday told a special TADA court that he faced threat to his life from fundamentalist groups. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday heard a petition filed by a film producer, who sought time for Dutt to complete his under-production films.
Dutt is to surrender later in the day after he was held guilty by the TADA court in 2007 under the Arms Act for possession of an automatic rifle, but he was acquitted under the stringent TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act), with the trial judge observing that he was not a 'terrorist'. The court accepted his confessional statement that he had procured the weapon for self-defence during the riots.
The Supreme Court, on March 21, 2013, had dismissed Dutt's appeal, but reduced the prison term to five years from six years. Dutt had been directed to surrender on April 18, but he sought more time in view his professional commitments.
He was granted another four weeks' time by the apex court on "humanitarian grounds". The Supreme Court had relied on this judgement while deciding the appeals filed by convicts of the 1993 blasts case. Dutt has served 18 months in prison during the trial, and has to undergo a jail term of three-and-a-half years.
Rs 300 crore riding on Sanjay Dutt's films
The time has come when one of Bollywood's biggest superstars finally surrenders and returns to jail. And while the star will be away from the limelight for about three and a half years; Dutt will continue to entertain his fans on the celluloid over the next few years. Starting with, 'Hum Hain Raahi Car Ke' - a comedy featuring Dutt as a cop that will hit the screens on May 24, just days after the actor surrenders.
KS Ravikumar's Policegiri, a remake of the 2003 hit 'Saavy' which is scheduled to hit the screens on July 5 also features Dutt in the role of a police inspector. These are just two of the pending film projects that the 53-year-old actor managed to complete in the last 30 days - an extension granted by the Supreme Court. And it's estimated that almost Rs 300 crore are riding on Dutt's upcoming films. And after Policegiri, the actor will be seen in filmmaker Rensil DeSilva's 'Ungli', that's produced by Karan Johar.
Dutt has also completed shooting for Apporva Lakhia's remake of 'Zanjeer' which will see him reprise the role of Sher Khan - the one epitomised by vetran actor Pran in the original. Dutt's portion in another big ticket film, Raj Kumar's Hirani's 'PK' - that also stars Aamir Khan - has been canned as well. And while his cameo in Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi starrer 'Ghanchakkar' was cancelled; Dutt managed to shoot for a special appearance in his home production 'Hasmukh Pighal Gaya'. Talking of his home productions, in Dutt's absence, his wife Manyata is expected to take on a bigger role in his Sanjay Dutt Productions.
As for Rajkumar Hirani's Munnabhai series that gave Dutt's career a new lease of life at the beginning of the millennium, the third instalment will only hit the floors once the actor serves his term.
With Additional Inputs from PTI