LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Bollywood is in shock following the jailing for six years of actor Sanjay Dutt on terror-related charges.
The sentence relates to the Mumbai bombings that killed 257 people in 1993 and has been one of the longest series of trials in the world. To date a dozen people have been sentenced to death, while 20 others face life sentences. More than 50 others will serve between three and 14 years in jail.
Dutt’s sentence related to his illegal possession of weapons that were given to him by gangsters associated with the bomb blasts.
The high profile trial has created huge interest in India where Dutt is a highly paid and popular actor. He is easily the most high-profile among 100 people, mostly Muslims, found guilty in the bombings trial, one of the world’s longest-running court cases.
Dutt, who spent 16 months in prison after his arrest in April 1993 and was free on bail, was also fined Rs 25,000 by the special TADA court of Judge P D Kode.
The court rejected Dutt’s application seeking exemption from a prison term under the Probation of Offenders (POA) Act.
Dutt was visibly shocked as the judge gave the reasoning for his decision not to grant him relief under the POA Act.
The sentencing of Dutt, along with three others, ends the sprawling Mumbai bombings trial which saw more than 100 people convicted, 686 witnesses and 13,000 pages of testimony.
The alleged masterminds of the blasts, Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon, have been on the run since 1993.
Indian investigators say they were aided by Pakistan’s intelligence service but Islamabad has denied any link.
The “Black Friday” bombings were allegedly staged by Mumbai’s Muslim-dominated mafia in retaliation for deadly Hindu-Muslim clashes and the demolition of a mosque by Hindu extremists in 1992.