The Telegraph
Tuesday , April 23 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nana: No mercy for Sanjay

Mumbai, April 22: Actor Nana Patekar has said Sanjay Dutt should serve his sentence and that no leniency should be shown to him.

Speaking away from the chorus supporting Sanjay Dutt, actor Nana Patekar has said that there should not be any leniency shown towards Dutt.

The 62-year-old National Award winning actor said in an interview that Sanjay should serve out his sentence. “In my honest opinion, Sanjay Dutt was sentenced by the court and he should undergo it. My simple question remains that why should there be any leniency shown towards him because he is an actor,” Patekar said in an interview.

The actor, who received a Padma Shri award this year for his contribution in films, did not mince any words while speaking about the 5-year term that Dutt has been sentenced to.

He criticised the people for having a “mixed opinion”. “Knowing the nature of his crime, have you stopped watching his films? People made him a star, watched his movies. You cannot have a mixed opinion where you want him to be punished for his crime and yet you won’t stop watching his movies,” Patekar told Marathi news channel ABP Majha.

“In my personal capacity, I cannot do much about it,” said Patekar.

Former Supreme Court judge and Press Council chairman Makarandey Katju, politicians Amar Singh and Jaya Prada, and several organisations from the film industry had asked for pardon for Sanjay.

On March 21, Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice P. Sathasivam upheld Sanjay’s conviction and five-year sentence for possession of arms during the Bombay blasts. He has spent 18 months in prison during the trial and has to serve out the remaining three-and-a-half years of his five-year term. Sanjay had repeatedly said he would not seek pardon. The Supreme Court had set an April 18 deadline for the convicts to surrender. Sanjay had appealed for a six-month extension of the deadline but was granted four weeks time on April 16 to finish his films and surrender.

Dutt had broken down repeatedly before the media stating that he would not seek any pardon and would serve out his sentence. He has been granted a four-week extension to surrender before the TADA court in Mumbai. He has also filed a review petition before the SC, while the pardon pleas remain pending before the governor of Maharashtra as well as the President.

Patekar said though he does not have any personal enmity with Sanjay, he believes that actors too are common citizens. “He might be Sanju Baba and I don’t have a personal enmity with him. But the nature of the crime he has committed is serious,” he said.