New Delhi, March 23: Is law not same for all, irrespective of their status and position? Then, why everyone is questioning the recent Supreme Court judgement in regard to actor Sanjay Dutt in the 20-year-old 1993 Mumbai blasts case?
Be it former Supreme Court judge and Press Council of India chief, Justice Markandeya Katju or Bollywood actor and Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan, everyone seems to be getting carried away by the screen persona of actor Sanjay Dutt.
They are all crying loud, "Sanjay Dutt is innocent, don't send him to jail. He is a changed man, who has a family to look after....."
But, in front of law, Bollywood superstar Dutt is an accused and Supreme Court delivered its judgement according to the proof presented to the apex court against the actor.
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.
Supreme Court in its judgement had clearly said, "That the circumstances and nature of offence was so serious that Sanjay Dutt cannot be released on probation. The apex court also says that evidence and materials perused by TADA court in arriving at the decision against Sanjay Dutt was correct."
Supreme court says that on the gravity of the crime Sanjay Dutt will not get a probation as he had asked for. However, Sanjay Dutt has an option of filing a review petition.
Dutt has been sent to jail by Supreme Court, not to gallows, then why so much of hue and cry?
Why nobody is saying anything about death penalty to mastermind Yakub Memon in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case?
Is it because Dutt is a Bollywood actor and son of two film legends--Sunil Dutt and Nargis?
If this is the case, then India should have two sets of laws--one for layman and another for rich and powerful.
Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan said she would appeal to Maharashtra governor K Sankarnarayanan to pardon Dutt.
"I agree with everyone that he has suffered a lot. I believe that he should not be given such a big punishment. He is a changed man now. I'm going to personally appeal to the governor and ask him to pardon him," the Samajwadi Party MP said.
Jaya's demand came close on the heels of Katju's appeal that Dutt had suffered for 20 years and should be pardoned.
After receiving lot of criticism for supporting Dutt, this is what Katju wrote in his blog:
I have read the views of those criticizing me for appealing to the Governor of Maharashtra to pardon Sanjay Dutt under Article 161 of the Constitution. While I respect the right of every one to hold his view, I have this to say in response :
(1) I have never sought popularity, and I have often expressed views which I knew would make me very unpopular. I regard populism as a form of vulgarity, and will say what my conscience tells me.
(2) My reasons for appealing for Sanjay Dutt's pardon are given in my letter to the Governor, and hence I am not repeating the same.