New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to actor Sanjay Dutt who had been convicted in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case. The actor had been sentenced to six years’ imprisonment by the TADA court in the case.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan took up Dutt's plea along with petitions of other convicts Yusuf Mohsin Nallawala, Samir Hingora and Zaibunisa Anwar Qazi.
"Considerations for his bail were related to Arms Act, which is not anywhere related to bomb blast and he has been there in the jail for a long time. He was there since 18 months and that is the reason for his bail being granted today by the Supreme Court. He will be released only after two days now. He has to submit his passport too. His appeal would take time," Dutt's lawyer Karan Singh said.
Granting him bail, the apex court said Dutt will have to furnish a bond subject to satisfaction of the TADA judge and his passport will remain deposited.
The court also granted bail to 17 of the 25 convicts who approached it. The court adopted common parameter in granting bail to those convicts, who have already undergone half the period of sentence awarded by the trial court.
In case of Somnath Thapa, the custom officer sentenced to life term, the bail was granted on medical ground as he is suffering from cancer. All those granted bail, will have to report before the Special Task Force of CBI, Mumbai once in a month, the court said.
The court, however, ruled that no bail would be granted to those who have been sentenced to life imprisonment. Also, the appeal and bail pleas of those convicts who have not surrendered will not be considered, the court said.
The apex court will now hold next hearing in the case after six months, implying that Dutt's relief will be of at least that period.
Dutt's lawyer argued that the apex court should grant him bail on the ground of his conduct, and that he has never broken the law in the past one decade since he was first granted bail in connection with the case.
The Bench on November 2 had declined him an urgent hearing. In his plea, Dutt has contended he was only convicted under the Arms Act and during the 14 years of trial, he has already undergone one-fourth of the six-year imprisonment he was sentenced to.
Sanjay Dutt was earlier granted interim bail on condition that he would surrender, after getting a copy of the TADA court judgment.
Dutt, who got a copy of the judgment on October 22, complied with the bail condition and surrendered before being taken to Yerwada jail in Pune.
Last week, the court had said it would hear the pleas of all the accused in the case together and give a general direction on bail.