New Delhi: Approximately Rs 300-350 crore is riding on Sanjay Dutt's finished and unfinished projects in the next one to two years. The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Dutt's conviction in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case and his sentence was reduced from six to five years in jail. Dutt, who has served 18 months, will now have to spend another 3 years and 6 months in jail.
On the floor are several films that Dutt has acted in or appears in a cameo role. He is shooting for 'Policegiri' directed by K S Ravikumar, 'Zanjeer' remake (tentatively titled 'Toofan'), directed by Apoorva Lakhia, Ungli fromDharma Productions, directed by Rensil D'Silva and has a small role in Raj Kumar Hirani's PK.
On the floor now is Raj Kumar Gupta's 'Ghanchakkar', the shooting for which is over and on paper is the next 'Munnabhai' film to be directed by Subhash Kapoor.
Dutt's counsel requested the court that the actor be released on probation considering his past conduct and association with charitable and social work. However, the court was unimpressed saying it cannot be done considering the gravity of the crime, thereby reducing his sentence from 6 to 5 years. The apex court said that the evidence and materials perused by the TADA court in arriving at the decision against Dutt was correct.
Dutt can still file a review petition against the verdict within the next four weeks. If he doesn't appeal against his sentence in the given time period, he will have to surrender before the Bombay High Court and will be sent to jail to serve his sentence.
The industry reacted with shock and sadness.
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said he was heartbroken that the Supreme Court upheld actor Dutt's conviction. "I was hopeful there would be a happy ending but alas life is not a movie," Bhatt told CNN-IBN. He also tweeted: "Heart Broken: Just heard that Sanjay Dutt has to go to jail for 5 years. I expected mercy! Alas it did not happen".
Meanwhile, director Kunal Kohli said "justice has not been done." "Question is, what about the real culprits behind the blasts? All of us shattered. It's a very sad day. But what about the real operators, the real people behind the blast," he said.
"It took 20 years for the Supreme Court to say that Pakistan and the ISI were behind it. Can we see real justice being served," Kohli said.
Pritish Nandy: Sad for Sanjay Dutt. He is paying for what was an act of folly. He is no traitor. He made a mistake. He is paying for it. Hugely.
Dabboo Ratnani: Shattered to hear about Sanjay Dutt. Love him. He is like my elder brother and has a pure heart of gold. God give him strength.
Vishal Dadlani: I am not contesting/denying the law, but it breaks my heart that Sanjay Dutt has to face this. He has done so much, so selflessly for so many!
The actor was convicted in November 2006 for illegal possession of a 9mm pistol and an AK-56 rifle but was acquitted of more serious charges of criminal conspiracy under the now defunct anti-terror TADA. After a marathon 10-month-long hearing beginning November 1, 2011, the Supreme Court had in August 2012 reserved its verdict on appeals and cross-appeals in the 1993 Mumbai serial terror bombing case in which 257 people were killed and 713 were injured.
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