Special Correspondent

He was given three extensions since conviction on November 28

  • He is seeking relief under the Probation of Offenders Act
  • Relatives of other accused seek parity in treatment with the actor

    MUMBAI: The designated Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) Court on Tuesday gave actor Sanjay Dutt time to surrender till Wednesday in the Bombay serial blasts case of March 12, 1993. He had been given three extensions since he was convicted under the Arms Act on November 28, 2006.

    When Mr. Dutt arrived at the highly secure court in the morning, relatives and supporters of several accused staged protests in small groups. The relatives of the 69 accused had filed an affidavit demanding parity in treatment with the actor. They demanded that the TADA charges be dropped against their kin who had been jailed for over a decade. The protesters took the police contingent by surprise. They were, however, quickly bundled into vans and detained.

    Senior counsel V.R. Manohar completed his arguments favouring an exemption from jail term for Mr. Dutt under the Probation of Offenders Act. The actor had filed an application on January 15, seeking to be released on probation.

    Basis of good conduct

    Under Section 4 of the Act, an accused who does not face life imprisonment or death sentence can be released on the basis of good conduct.

    Arguments were also made on behalf of Yusuf Nulwala, who along with Kersi Adejania, Rusi Mulla and Mr. Dutt, are seeking relief under the Act. The prosecution opposed Mr. Dutt's application on the ground that he was not entitled to the benefits of the Act since the offence for which he was convicted was grave.

    Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam feared this would set a precedent. The arguments would continue on Wednesday for Mr. Mulla and Mr. Adejania.

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