Sanjay Dutt is sentenced for 6 years for buying and possessing ammunition from an associate of Mumbai Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim – this was allegedly linked with the main consignment that was used in the tragic 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.
I personally think that this punishment is a little too harsh.
The minimum sentence for possessing illegal weapon is 5 years. And he already spent about a year and a half in jail after he was convicted several years ago. He has been on bail for many years now, and his conduct while on bail was impeccable without any violations. The imprisonment term could have been less than 6 years.
Sometimes, while trying to avoid being discriminatory against one group or person, one might end up discriminating against the other. The judge might just have ended up giving harsher punishment in order to send the correct message to junta that everyone is treated equal by the law.
However, many people tend to believe that Sanjay Dutt should have received even harsher punishment (or that he deserved 6 years in jail) based on a wrong assumption about his involvement with 93 blasts.
He was already acquitted of terrorism charges (under TADA) last November – because there was no material that proved his connection with the blasts. I am sure our justice department would have done their best to make sure he got punished if he was involved.
This time, Sajnjay Dutt was convicted, found guilty and got punished for illegal possession of weapons (which were never used, by the way) under Arms Act. He’s not a terrorist, and he’s not associated with any terrorism act (which, I think lot of people has difficulty understanding.)
From Times of India: [After giving out the sentence, Judge P D] Kode, however, said the crimes committed by Dutt and his friends  were not “anti-social, ghastly, inhuman, immoral or pre-planned” and did not cause any harm to the general public.
Those words from revered judge should be kept in mind before we try to evaluate this verdict.
I am not at all suggesting that they should have let him go clean, I am not saying that he is innocent, I am not sympathizing with him due to his troubled past and popularity; I am just questioning the quantum of this punishment. Let’s wait and see what SC has to say.
Having said that, considering the way justice is being meted out recently, we Indians should really feel proud of our judiciary system. Whether people agree with the verdict or not, their faith in the criminal justice system is slowly and steadily being restored for sure. Kudos to our judiciary system!
PS. Thinking about his previous Phoenix-like come-backs after a bunch of nightmarish events in his life (mother died of Cancer, drugs addiction, wife died of tumor, custody battle for her daughter, alleged involvement with Mumbai bomb-blasts, underworld connections, divorce with his second wife and so on…) I am sure Sanjay Dutt will come back vigorously after this setback too.
On a lighter note, consider the following song in the context of Sanjay Dutt’s continuous struggle in his real life:
Ek kahani, khatam to dooji… shuroo ho gayee maamu!