The Supreme Court on Thursday, March 21 upheld actor Dutt's conviction under the Arms Act, but reduced his sentence from six to five years in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
The 53-year-old actor has to serve three and half years in prison, as he has already spent 18 months in jail earlier.
Many of Dutt's Bollywood colleagues and friends have expressed shock at the apex court's verdict. One of Dutt's strongest sympathiser is former Supreme Court judge and Press Council of India chief, Justice Markandeya Katju. Katju feels that Dutt has suffered a lot and should be pardoned.
But, the confessional statement of Dutt clearly indicates that Dutt's crime was grave as stated by the Supreme Court.
Given below is Dutt's 1993 confessional statement in the Mumbai blasts case
Confessional statement of Dutt was recorded under Section 15 of TADA on April 26, 1993 at 15:30 hrs (First Part) and on April 28, 1993 at 1600 hrs (Second Part) by Krishan Lal Bishnoi the then DCP, Zone III, Bombay.
(i) I am having three valid license for fire arms and possess 3 fire arms as mentioned below:
(a) 270 Rifle of BRUNO make;
(b) 375 Magnum Double barreled Rifle; and
(c) 12 Bore Gun of Double Barrel
(ii) I purchased these weapons due to my fondness for hunting. I normally go for hunting with one friend of mine, viz., Mr. Yusuf Nullwala as he is an experienced hunter. I also know one friend of Yusuf Nullwala by name Kersi Bapuji Adajenia and met him three times
(iii) In December, 1991, I had given dates for shooting to actor producer Firoz Khan for his film 'Yalgar'. He had taken the whole unit for shooting in Dubai. During one of the shootings, Firoz Khan introduced me to one Mr. Daud Ibrahim and also to his brother Anees during another shooting session. After that, Anees used to visit us regularly during the shootings and also at the place of our stay
(iv) Since Anees used to come frequently, I become well acquainted with him
(v) I also know the proprietors of Magnum Video, namely Hanif Kandawala and Samir Hingora. I also signed for acting in one of their film 'Sanam'. Samir is treasurer of Indian Motion Picture Association (IMPA). Hanif and Samir used to come quite frequently to my house for taking dates for shooting from my Secretary
(vi) Hanif told me that if I so desire, he would make immediate arrangements to provide an automatic fire arm to me for my protection. Initially, I did not show any interest but when Hanif and Samir started repeatedly telling me to acquire a firearm from them, I gradually fell prey to their persistent suggestion and expressed my desire to Hanif and Samir. They said that they would immediately provide me with an automatic fire arm
(vii) One day, in mid January, in the evening, around 9.00 to 9.30 p.m., Hanif and Samir came to my house along with one person by name Salem. I had met this Salem once or twice earlier also
(viii) Then these 3 fellows told me that they were coming tomorrow morning with the weapons to be delivered to you. Then they went away
(ix) Next day morning Samir, Hanif and Salem all three came to my house along with one other person who is not known to me
(x) They came in a Maruti Van and parked it in a Tin shed which is used by us for parking our vehicles. One person was sitting inside the Maruti Van. After about 15-20 minutes, he took out three rifles and they said it is AK-56 rifles
(xi) I got some cloth from my house and gave it to them. Salem and the person who has come with him wrapped those rifles in the cloth and gave it to me
(xii) When I opened and saw it, there were three rifles some magazines and rounds, they have told me that there are 250 rounds. The rounds were kept in another hand bag fetched by me
(xiii) On seeing three rifles, I got scared and told them that I wanted only one weapon. Then Hanif and Salem told me to keep it for the time being and in case it is not required, we will take away the rest of the two weapons
(xiv) They have also shown me some brown coloured hand-grenades and asked me whether I want that also. I do not want these grenades and you may please leave my house immediately, I told them
(xv) I kept these rifles and ammunition in the dickey of my Fiat Car No. MMU 4372 and locked it
(xvi) On the same night, I removed the three rifles and ammunition, kept the same in a handbag which I kept in my private hall which was on the 2nd floor of our bungalow
(xvii)Two days thereafter, since I had considerable mental tension, I contacted Hanif Kandawala and requested him to take away the weapons. He said that he would arrange to send somebody to collect the same. After two days, Hanif Kandawala and Samir Hingora along with Salem came to my house in the evening in a car. I returned two AK- 56 rifles and a part of the ammunition to them but retained one AK-56 rifle and some ammunitions with me
(xviii) Around September 1992, during one of my shooting at R.K. Studio, one Kayyum, who is a member of Dawood Ibrahim gang, who had also met me in Dubai at the time of shooting of the film Yalgar approached me with a stranger. They offered me a 9 mm pistol with ammunition. When I saw it, I liked it and had a strong desire to purchase the same. They offered it to me for a sum of Rs 40,000/-. I paid the said amount in cash to them at my house and purchased the same. I do not know the name of that person who was brought by Kayyum. However, he was aged about 35-38 years, apparently, Muslim, dark complexion, height about 5'8", fat built, moustache, medium curly hair, wearing shirt and pant. I will be able to identify him if brought before me. He also handed over 8 rounds of the said pistol
(xix) On 2nd April, I left for Mauritious for shooting of the film 'Aatish'. There I was informed by a casual contact that Hanif and Samir have been arrested by the Bombay Police for their complicity in bomb blasts
(xx) On hearing the news, I got frightened as these fellows had given me the AK-56 rifles and they may tell my name to the police to involve me in the bomb blasts case. I contacted my friend Mr. Yusuf Nullwala on telephone and asked him that something is lying in a black coloured bag which is kept in my hall at the second floor of my house and it should be taken away immediately and destroy the things completely which are there in the bag, otherwise, I shall be in a great trouble. By this time, the news about my possession of AK- 56 rifles had appeared in the press and on coming to know about this, my father asked me about the truthfulness of this news, but I denied the same. My anxiety about the whole episode became unbearable and I decided to return to Bombay in between. My father informed my flight details to the police and I was picked up by police as soon as I landed at Bombay and I confessed the whole things to them.