Sending another letter to President of India Pranab Mukherjee, Katju along with leading criminal lawyer Majeed Memon on Monday, April 1 sought dismissal of the verdict of the Supreme Court. The court asked Dutt and another senior citizen Zaibunissa Kazi to surrender themselves within April 18.
Speaking about their letter to the President, the advocate was quoted as saying, "Under Article 72 of the Constitution, the order can be suspended till the President takes a decision on the mercy plea by Justice Katju on behalf of Dutt and Zaibunissa."
Katju, who earlier too had sent appeals to Pranab Mukherjee seeking pardon for Dutt, claimed, "Had he not undergone imprisonment for a single day and not faced so many hardships for the last 20 years, I would not have appealed for his pardon."
Katju also had appealed Maharashtra Governor to pardon Dutt. But it was expelled Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh who succeeded to touch the governor who recently has forwarded his appeal to the state home ministry.
While many celebrities and politicians including Jaya Prada, Shatrghan Sinha, Jaya Prada and many others preached for Dutt, the actor, surprisingly, claimed that he would not appeal for pardon. Dutt asserted that he would follow the orders of the Supreme Court which upheld his conviction of illegal arms possession act.
However, snubbing Sanjay's statement, Katju asserted, "That makes no difference to me...I will appeal for him because he is not a terrorist and he has been in jail for 18 months. He has suffered a lot and in a way he has faced is punishment."
Katju pointed out that Article 161 of the constitution grants Governors and the President the authority to pardon or reduce a sentence. Clarifying his stand over demanding pardon for Sanjay, Katju said, "public good is one of them, there can be many other considerations like humanitarian considerations for grant of pardon."
The apex court reduced Dutt's imprisonment from six-year-imprisonment to five-year-imprisonment. As he had already spent 18 months behind the bar, would be sent to jail only for three and half years.