New Delhi: Days after Sanjay Dutt was awarded a jail term of five years in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case by the Supreme Court, the clamour for his sentence to be commuted has grown louder even as others have said that his conviction has been upheld by the highest court of the country and there should be no leniency towards him.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has come out in support of Dutt even though others within the party do not share his views. "Sanjay Dutt is not a criminal. He is not a terrorist. The atmosphere was bad in 1993 and he reacted to it like any child would. He made a mistake and paid the price for it by going to jail for 18 months."
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi refused to comment on the issue. "If a mercy petition is filed, the Governor or the President will review it. This is not a matter for me to comment on," said Alvi.
However, senior RSS leader MG Vaidya is against any leniency towards the actor. "It is a serious offence. He should not be pardoned," said Vaidya.
On Saturday, Chairman of Press Council of India Justice Markandey Katju said Dutt should be pardoned and that he will meet the Maharashtra Chief Minister on the issue. Speaking to CNN-IBN, Justice Katju said, "I am not questioning the Supreme Court verdict. I have sent an appeal to the Governor requesting him to pardon Sanjay Dutt and I have said this on humanitarian reasons."
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.