Sanjay Dutt gets bail from Supreme Court
India’s Supreme Court granted bail on Monday to Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, jailed for six years for receiving guns from gangsters involved in the country’s worst bombings.
Dutt, 48, began serving his six year sentence on July 31 in a prison in western India — less the 16 months he served while awaiting trial over the bomb attacks which killed 257 people in India’s commercial capital of Mumbai in 1993.
Dutt’s lawyers had petitioned the court against his conviction and sought bail until that petition was ruled on. But they said they could not argue the case as they were yet to get a copy of the judgment of the Mumbai court.
A three-judge bench headed by the chief justice agreed and said that “the nature of the offence and the evidence is very difficult to examine at this stage,” and granted bail to Dutt until the lawyers get a copy of the verdict.
An official at the Mumbai court said it could start delivering copies of the sentencing of the 100 people convicted in the case from September. Dutt was among the last of the 100 to be sentenced.
Dutt’s appeal said his conviction by a special anti-terrorism court in Mumbai was based on his confession that he had later retracted.
“A retracted confession is a weak piece of evidence,” the petition said, arguing that the conviction should also be overturned because no arms or ammunition were ever recovered from Dutt or his home.
The petition, which said Dutt should be granted bail because he was “not likely to commit any offence while on bail,” urged the court to award him some form of punishment other than jail.