A day after actor Sanjay Dutt moved an application before the Special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act (TADA) Court seeking permission to surrender directly before jail authorities instead of the court,his lawyer on Wednesday told the court that he wished to withdraw the application.
Dutt,53,convicted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and sentenced to five-year rigorous imprisonment for possessing an automatic rifle,will surrender on Thursday before the Special TADA court. On April 18,the apex court had granted Dutt a four-week extension for surrender so that he could fulfil his professional commitments.
On Wednesday,Dutts lawyer Subhash Jadhav informed the court that as per the directions given by his client (Dutt),he would like to withdraw the application. There are no reasons for this withdrawal. I am only acting upon the orders given by my client, Jadhav said.
In his application filed before the court on Tuesday,Dutt had claimed that he feared for his life,and that his transit journey from the court to the jail would be difficult as the media would hound him. He had also claimed that he has serious threat to his life from the vested interest groups and other fundamental groups and organisations,thus creating a law and order situation.
Dutt,who was convicted for the offence punishable under Sections 3 and 7 read with Sections 25(1-A),(1-B)(a) of the Arms Act,has already spent 18 months in jail. After the trial courts judgment on July 31,2007,Dutt was immediately taken into custody and sent to Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai. He was shifted to Yerwada jail in Pune on August 2,2007.
While the trial court had sentenced him to six years with a fine of Rs 25,000,his sentence was reduced to five years by the apex court on March 21 this year.
Dutt is one of eight convicts in the serial blasts case,who were granted four weeks time to surrender. The others Zaibunnisa Kazi,Essa Abdul Razak Memon,Altaf Ali Sayed,Yusuf Mohsin Nulwala,Issaq Mohd Hajwane,Sharif Abdul Gaffor Parker and Kesri Adajania were also granted four weeks time.
However,Hajwane died last week due to multiple organ failure,and Parker,a landing agent from Shekhadi,suffered a cardiac arrest Wednesday. He has been hospitalised at a private hospital in Mumbai, confirmed Parkers lawyer Farhana Shah.
Police probing threat mail
Police are probing an anonymous letter threatening to attack Arthur Road jail if actor Sanjay Dutt is lodged there. The letter was sent to the prison by post. Sources said the eight-page letter in Hindi was handwritten.
Inspector General (Prisons) Vinod Lokhande said,We have informed Mumbai police about the letter.
Additional commissioner of police (central region) Praveen Salunke said,I have forwarded the letter to the DCP of Zone 3 and as NM Joshi Marg police station. They will be taking action on the matter.
Security at Arthur Road jail has been increased following the incident.