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Tuesday, July 31, 2007 : 1945 Hrs


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    Don't lose faith in yourself, judge tells Sanjay Dutt

    Mumbai, July. 31 (PTI): Rejecting actor Sanjay Dutt's emotional plea for time to surrender after he was today given a six-year jail term in the 1993 serial blasts case, Judge P D Kode told the star not to lose faith in himself as he was "number one" in films.

    "Act till the age of 100, I have only taken away six years," Judge Kode of the special TADA court told Dutt hours after sentencing him to rigorous imprisonment for six years for illegal possession of weapons.

    Noting that Dutt was "number 1 in the film line", Kode said that he had liked the actor's performances very much and advised him to have faith in himself.

    Kode's comments came while he was hearing Dutt's plea for more time to surrender. After hearing his sentence earlier in the day, Dutt went to the witness box with folded hands and sought permission to speak in the court.

    "Sir, I made a mistake 14 years ago. Please give me some time to surrender," said the actor who turned 48 on Sunday.

    When the court took up the plea later, Dutt told the judge: "I am very tired, sir. I just need your blessings."

    "Don't get perturbed for you have many years to go and work like the 'Mackenna's Gold' actor, Gregory Peck," Kode told the star in an informal conversation that lasted almost 10 minutes.

    In an apparent attempt to cheer Dutt, Kode told him that he had seen the actor's performance with his late father Sunil Dutt in "Munnabhai MBBS". "In the film, your father looked much better than you," the judge said.

    Dutt conducted himself in a restrained manner throughout the proceedings. His face looked gaunt, revealing that he must have had a sleepless night, but he did not break down.


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