New Delhi: Chairman of the Press Council of India Justice Markandey Katju has made a strong pitch for pardon of actor Sanjay Dutt after Supeme Court's judgement on Thursday in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case. Amidst growing clamour for Dutt's pardon, Justice Katju said he wants the actor be granted pardon on humanitarian grounds. Speaking exclusively to CNN-IBN, Justice Katju said, "I am not questioning the Supreme Court verdict. Have sent an appeal to the Governor requesting him to pardon Sanjay Dutt and I have said this on humanitarian reasons."
Katju also said, "Sanjay Dutt has already suffered, he has faced imprisonment. He could not go abroad many times, had to take permissions every time. He has a family, 2 small children. He has done some good things like spreading Gandhian philosophy through his film 'Munnabhai MBBS'. His parents have done social service. I am not going on judicial side, I am going on the side of pardon where the reasons are different."
Justice Katju stood by his demand and said that any citizen can raise his voice on humanitarian considerations. "I am raising this as a citizen not as Retired Supreme Court judge," said Justice Katju.
Sanjay Dutt isn't a terrorist, added Katju. "Sanjay Dutt hasn't been found involved in a terror act. He was only in possession of a weapon which he never used," said Justice Katju.
"When I saw the SC ruling on Sanjay Dutt, I felt he should be pardoned. There are six considerations based on which I have appealed the Governor. I am not a fan of Sanjay Dutt, haven't seen a film for 40 years," stated Katju.
The Supreme Court on Thursday announced its verdict in the 1993 Bombay blasts case and sentenced actor Sanjay Dutt to five years in jail under the Arms Act. The apex court found the actor guilty of acquiring illegal weapons from those blamed for the bombings in Mumbai that killed 257 people and was given four weeks to surrender.