Not a lot of hope for Sanjay Dutt: Lawyers

Mar 22, 2013, 10:40 IST | Samarth Moray

Legal experts are sceptical of Dutt's chances of finding a way around jail, now that the highest court in the land has sentenced him to five years of imprisonment.

The Supreme Court has already denied Dutt the possibility of being released on bail, essentially sealing Dutt's fate. This is what senior advocates have to say of the odds favouring Dutt:

Ashok Mundargi :

Dutt can certainly file a review application. But the scope for such recourse is very limited. Hardly one among the several hundred reviews or curative petitions filed is ever considered. The purpose of such a 'curative' petition is to cure any defects in the judgment. The option of presidential pardon is always there. The president always has those powers. But do you think he will exercise them in such a case? Dutt will have to go to jail.

Majeed Memon:

Majeed Memon. File Pic

He has only a narrow window of approaching a larger bench or filing a review petition. But even in that case, I am afraid that unless a stay is granted on today’s order, he will have to walk to prison. The law says once the highest court has passed the order, the law will take its own course. Proceedings will start unless stayed by the highest court.

Mahesh Jethmalani:

Mahesh Jethmalani. File Pic

There is nothing that can be done. Of course, the option of review is available but its scope is limited and circumscribed; it is very well-defined. And the Supreme Court rarely undertakes a review. You’d have to come up with something like new evidence to get it entertained. Rather than pardon, he could always try and apply for commutation of his sentence to the President, but who knows if he’ll get it?

Satish Maneshinde, who represented Dutt :

Satish Maneshinde. File Pic

Sanjay Dutt told me, 'I have accepted the judgment as it is'. I am not sure what relief he can claim. But he will abide by the apex court's order of undergoing the sentence of three-and-a-half years in letter and spirit. Three-and-a-half years is not a long period. Sanjay Dutt is a strong man and will fight for himself.

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