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Dutt moves court to contest elections

Legal Correspondent


“Damage can’t be undone if he succeeds in appeal”

Actor cites

Sidhu’s case



New Delhi: Actor Sanjay Dutt on Thursday moved the Supreme Court seeking suspension of his conviction in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case to enable him to contest the Lok Sabha polls.

Mr. Dutt, who recently joined the Samajwadi Party, was convicted by a TADA court in Mumbai under the Arms Act and was sentenced to six-year imprisonment. He is now out on bail.

The petition filed by his advocate K. Hari Shankar is to be mentioned on Friday before a Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan.

Under Section 8 (3) of the Representation of the People Act, those who are sentenced to imprisonment for two years and more could not contest in elections if the conviction is not stayed by an appellate court.

Mr. Dutt said his appeal against the designated court’s judgment was pending in the Supreme Court, which was not likely to dispose it of in the near future in view of the huge pendency. In the event of the appellant succeeding in his appeal, the damage caused by the bar under Section 8(3) of the Act could not be undone in future.

Mr. Dutt said the legal position on suspension of sentence was laid down by the Supreme Court in a catena of decisions including the Navjot Singh Sidhu case, in which the conviction of the former cricket player in a case of road rage death was stayed, enabling him to contest an election. The court had also laid down the parameters for suspension of conviction and his case would fall within their ambit, he said.

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