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Maharashtra governor rejects plea to pardon Sanjay Dutt

New Delhi: Maharashtra Governor Ch.Vidyasagar Rao has reportedly rejected a plea made by former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju to pardon actor Sanjay Dutt who is serving a jail term in Pune's Yerwada Central Jail.Katju
India TV News Desk September 24, 2015 12:20 IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: Maharashtra Governor Ch.Vidyasagar Rao has reportedly rejected a plea made by former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju to pardon actor Sanjay Dutt who is serving a jail term in Pune's Yerwada Central Jail.

Katju had filed a petition in 2013 calling for Dutt to be pardoned under Article 161 of the Constitution. But Rao decided to turn it down on the recommendation of the state home department, which was of the view that granting a pardon would set a bad precedent since Dutt had been convicted by the highest court of the land.

In his petition, Katju said, "The only charge on which Sanjay Dutt has been found guilty is the charge of having in his possession a prohibited weapon. However, regarding this charge the Supreme Court has observed that Sanjay Dutt was keeping the weapon not for terrorist activity but for self defence. This being the verdict of the Supreme Court it has be accepted."

Katju wrote that he was not supporting Dutt merely because he was a celebrity and also sought a pardon for Zaibunnisa Kazi, another convict in the 1993 blasts case.

Dutt was convicted of illegal possession of arms in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case and is serving a 42 month jail term from May 2013.

He is currently out on parole for 30 days, which is extendable for another 60 days, reportedly because of his daughter's nose surgery. This is the fourth time he has been allowed to leave jail for personal reasons.