Mahesh Bhatt: 'I told Sanjay to go for it'

By HT

Mumbai, April 9 -- On March 21, the Supreme Court slapped a five-year jail term on Sanjay Dutt under the Arms Act. Around 10 days ago, the actor publicly stated: "I will surrender in the given time of Supreme Court. I have not applied for any pardon. I want to tell the media and the citizens of our country, when I am not going for a pardon, then there is no debate about it (sic)."

In a surprising twist, however, the actor might now move the SC with a review petition. A Delhi based legal team seems to have prepared the petition to be filed in a day or two before the same bench. Back in Mumbai, Dutt's former lawyer, Majid Memon, is clueless. "I got involved with the case only when Sanjay called me on March 21. But we (including Justice Markandey Katju) aren't aware of the review petition. The move has been backed by his legal team and friends from the film industry. Mahesh Bhatt has been the link between Sanjay and us," says Memon.

When contacted, Bhatt accepts that he urged Sanjay to file the petition. "I told him that if there is a remedial measure, then why not go for it? I have known Sanju and his family for over three decades. If he has committed a crime and deserves punishment, there is nothing wrong with it. But as an individual, I have the right to stand by my friend," says the veteran filmmaker.

According to the law, a review petition must be filed within 30 days from the date of a sentence. It can be filed to review a binding decision of the SC, based on an apparent error in a judgment sought to be reviewed.

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