Sanjay Dutt born into a respectable family, apart from breaking the law once for wich he has got the jail sentence, has been a law-abiding citizen. He, however, has admitted to his guilt, and has accepted the ruling as a gentleman. There had been number of ups and downs in Dutt’s life as he also fought drug-addiction when he was young.
No doubt, Dutt’s image has received a battering over the years as he has always won the audience’s love and produced great hits like Khalnayak, Munna Bai series Agreepath and so on. According to rumours, his fans might miss their affable Munnabhai and the film industry might lose close to Rs.250 crore with Dutt in jail but the Supreme Court has made it clear that no one is above the law. The Apex Court has rightly considered the offence too serious to be pardoned.
At the same time, the former Supreme Court judge and Press Council of India chief, Justice Markandeya Katju, who is famous for his controversial statements is again in news, and has appealed to Maharashtra Governor K Sankarnarayan to pardon Sanjay Dutt, in the 1993 Mumbai blasts. In fact, Katju’s sympathy for Dutt is misplaced.
Katju has justified his appeal by saying that Dutt had not been held guilty of terrorism but of a far lesser charge of illegal possession of weapons under the Arms Act. Also, that the blasts had happened as far back as 20 years ago and since then, Dutt had suffered a lot and had to undergo various tribulations and indignities.
The poorly worded comments of Jayaprada actor-turned-politician, poorly, outside Parliament, “He is innocent…” and by MP Jaya Bachchan’s outburst, “Where was the government all these years? Suddenly you have realized he has to go to jail? This is rubbish…” are not digestible by the devastated victim’s families. The sentiments and emotions have nothing to do with the crimes committed especially by the celebrities like Dutt.
Despite of his fine acting and pleasant nature, Dutt stands guilty of a serious crime in the context of the Mumbai bomb blasts which destroyed the lives of hundreds of innocent people and families, he deserves no sympathy even if r provisions may be available to pardon. We should not forget that giving any relief to Sanjay Dutt is going to create precedence especially when the crime is on the rising trend.
Let me share that a similar wave of sympathy was whipped up for Rajat Gupta, with top Indian industrialists projecting his humble background and humane qualities to influence a lighter verdict. Celebrities have the advantage of wealth, power, powerful friends which can be used to exert considerable pressure and influence in their favour but the same advantage is non-existent for the common criminal whose families suffer far more than celebrities and their families.
The crime by Dutt has been committed and admitted. Thus, if we really want to convey a message to the people to reduce the crime rate, no one should encroach into the judicial system and let Dutt go to jail to complete his jail term as per the verdict announced by the Court.
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