MUMBAI: Actor Sanjay Dutt, who has to spend another three-and-a-half-years in jail in the Mumbai serial blasts case, on Thursday said he is “heart broken” and under “emotional distress” after the Supreme Court verdict.
“I have already suffered for 20 years and been in jail for 18 months. If they want me to suffer more I have to be strong. I am heart broken because today along with me, my three children and my wife and my family will undergo the punishment. I have always respected the judicial system and will continue to do so, even with tears in my eyes,” he said in an emotional statement to the media.
“I am overwhelmed by the support of my fans, the industry people, the media and all the well-wishers. They have always stood by me and supported me. I know in my heart that I have always been a good human being, respected the system and always been loyal to my country,” he said.
Dutt, who confined himself in his 10th floor flat at Imperial Heights in suburban Bandra with his family as Bollywood celebrities paid him visit to express solidarity, said he has to be strong for his family. “My family is very emotional right now and I have to be strong for them. I am shattered and in emotional distress. I am sorry I can’t come down and meet you all. God is great and he will guide me through this,” he said in the statement.
Sanjay said he believed in judiciary and would explore legal options after going through the Supreme Court verdict.
“I still believe in judiciary. My family is with me and I am still strong,” he said in his first reaction to the judgment upholding his conviction in the 1993 case.
He said in an SMS to the media he would explore legal options available after going through the verdict.
Earlier, his lawyer Mr Satish Maneshinde had said he had accepted the punishment handed down by the apex court “as it is”.
Maneshinde, who represented Dutt at the trial in the blasts case in the TADA court, said he had spoken to the actor who will have to undergo three-and-a-half more years in jail.
“Sanjay Dutt told me I have accepted the judgment as it is. I have accepted it,” Mr Maneshinde said quoting the actor.
The lawyer said though they will pursue the legal course available, “I am not sure what relief he can claim.”
“But Sanjay Dutt will abide by the apex court’s order of undergoing the sentence of three-and-a-half years in letter and spirit. Three-and-a-half-years is not a long period,” he said.
“We have prepared him (for sentence) from the very beginning. Sanjay Dutt is a strong man and will fight for himself,” Mr Maneshinde said.
Eminent criminal lawyer Mr Majid Memon, who defended many of the accused in the case, said there was only a “narrow” window open for actor to seek relief after the Supreme Court judgment.