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Fate of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt will be decided on Thursday, as the quantum of punishment for keeping weapons in connection to the 1993 Mumbai blast case is likely
to be awarded to him.
Dutt will appear before Judge P D Kode in the TADA Court today.
Dutt and his three friends, Kersi Adajenia, Russi Mulla and Yusuf Nullwala are among the 27 yet to be sentenced and all four of them have applied for relief under the Probation of Offenders Act.
Dutt has already spent nearly 15 months, as an under-trial before being released in 1996 on bail.
On November 28 2006, the TADA court found Dutt guilty under the Arms Act and not the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.
Minimum sentence for the charges under which Dutt has been found guilty is 3 years. The 15 months (from July 4, 1994 to October 16, 1995) that Dutt has already served in jail will be deducted from the sentence.
Dutt was booked for possessing an AK-56 rifle that had come in a consignment of arms and explosives meant for use in the Mumbai serial blasts that killed 257 people.
Dutt had admitted to the charges in his confession made shortly after his arrest on April 22, 1993. But later he retracted the same.
He had confessed that underworld don Abu Salem visited his Pali Hill home in January 1993. Samir Hingora and Hanif Kadawala, the two close associates of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and proprietors of Magnum Video brought Salem to his home, he had said.
He further said that out of the three AK-56 rifles brought by Salem and some magazines and 250 rounds, he kept only one AK-56 rifle.
Dutt said that he needed the weapons to protect his family as threatening calls were received during the 1992-93 Mumbai riots. In spite of repeated complaints, he said, there was no police protection given to him or his family.
But when he heard about the blasts and the arrests of Samir and Hanif, he asked his friend Yusuf Nulwalla to destroy the gun.
The Court has already awarded sentences to two convicts who had supplied arms to Dutt. On June 1, Samir Hingora - the man who supplied AK-56 rifle to Dutt - was awarded nine years' rigorous imprisonment. While, Dhakla who removed the rifle from Dutt's house, was awarded 10 years imprisonment.
Others accused in the case say that Dutt has got away from the case lightly.
Following are the highlights relating to the progress made in the case about Sanjay Dutt's involvement in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts:
April 1993: Sameer Hingora and Hanif Kadawala arrested a month after serial blasts rock Mumbai on March 12, 1993. They tell police about film star Sanjay Dutt's possessing AK-56 rifles.
April 15, 1993: CBI files chargesheet against Sanjay Dutt saying gangster Abu Salem visited Dutt in January 1993.
In the chargesheet CBI stated that Salem was brought to Dutt's resident accompanied by Magnum video owner Sameer Hingora and motor-training school owner Ibrahim Musa on instructions of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's brother Annes to deliver weapons. Next morning weapons arrived and Dutt allegedly kept three AK-56 rifles. Later, he kept only one rifle and returned two rifles.
Dutt confessed to the police that while he was in Mauritius for shooting he called Yusuf Nullwalla to destroy the weapons. Yusuf did so with the help of Kersi Adajania in his foundry.
April 19, 1993: Police escorts Dutt on his arrival from Mauritius saying AK-56 in his house was from the consignment of arms smuggled into India before the blasts.
April 22, 1993: Dutt admits to the charges in his confession. But later he retracted the same.
May 3, 1993: Dutt released on bail.
July 4, 1994: Bail canceled and re-arrested.
October 16, 1995: After spending nearly 16 months in jail, Dutt again gets bail.
2001: Actor faces 396 queries from the court over four days. Over questions concerning AK-56 rifle, Dutt replied: "I had no connection with any such event". He even denied having met Salem and others.
2002 - The Mumbai police tapped alleged Dutt's conversation with gangster Chhota Shakeel. The conversation has references to the actor having bought a T-shirt for him from Dubai.
August 2002- Shiv Sena-BJP combine in Maharashtra created a furore in the State legislature over the Bollywood star's alleged taped conversation with underworld don Chhota Shakeel.
March 7, 2003: Dutt informs the court that he did not know about Pakistan-based gangster Chhota Shakeel.
June 2, 2003: Court exempts Dutt from personal appearance till June-end, stating he has gone abroad for stage shows with the court's permission.
Nov. 27, 2006: TADA court delivering verdict in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case summons Dutt on November 28.
Nov. 28, 2006: Dutt is found guilty under Arms Act but is acquitted in all cases related to TADA.
He will be in jail until the sentence is pronounced. Minimum sentence for the charges under which Dutt has been found guilty is three years. The 16 months that Dutt has already served in jail will be deducted from the sentence.