Sobbing Sanjay Dutt says he will return to jail

Speaking out for the first time since the Supreme Court verdict last week, Sanjay said there were many others who deserved a pardon more than him.

Photos: Bollywood stars visit Sanjay Dutt

Sanjay Dutt
Sanjay Dutt appealed to the media for privacy at the press conference, the first since the Supreme Court handed down a five-year term. Pic/AFP

The 53-year-old also appealed to the media for privacy. He said, “I will surrender in the given time of Supreme Court. I have not applied for any pardon. I want to tell the media and the citizens of our country, when I am not going for a pardon, then there is no debate about it.”

In pictures: Sanjay Dutt and 1993 blasts: A traumatic link

An emotional Sanjay, who broke down while addressing the media, said he had the highest respect for the court. “I am a shattered man, my family is shattered. I want to thank whoever has supported us. I have a lot of work to finish and now I want to spend my time with my family,” said the actor.

His sister and Congress MP Priya Dutt accompanied him at the press conference. On March 21, the Supreme Court upheld Sanjay’s conviction under the Arms Act in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and sentenced him to five years in jail.

He was asked to surrender in four weeks to serve his remaining term of about three-and-half years as he has already spent 18 months in jail. According to reports, Sanjay will be working in four shifts to finish his professional commitments.

Support for Dutt
Several members of film fraternity and some politicians spoke in Sanjay’s support. Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and actor-turned politician Jaya Prada on Tuesday met Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan.

Press Council of India chairperson Markandey Katju yesterday said he would continue to seek pardon on humanitarian grounds for actor Sanjay and Zaibunissa Kazi, both of whom have been sentenced to five years in prison. Clarifying his position after Sanjay’s press conference, Katju said: “Sanjay Dutt may not appeal for pardon, but I will appeal for his pardon. I think he deserves pardon.”

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