Sweets and crackers welcome Sanjay Dutt home


Mumbai : Hundreds of fans and onlookers who had been waiting for hours outside Sanjay Dutt’s residence at Pali Hills in Bandra burst firecrackers and distributed sweets Thursday as the 48-year-old actor returned home after 22 days in Pune’s Yerawada Jail.

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A happy but tired looking Dutt, dressed in a white kurta and trademark blue jeans, was quickly whisked inside by his friends and relatives.

Later, the actor came out and mingled with his fans, accepting bouquets, shaking hands and thanking them for the unfailing support and love.

The “Lage Raho Munna Bhai” star, who was sentenced to six years in jail for possessing illegal arms just before the Mumbai blasts that killed 257 people in 1993, flew to Mumbai from Pune in a chopper belonging to a corporate house after being granted bail by the Supreme Court Tuesday while his lawyers challenged the conviction. He landed at the Juhu aerodrome and drove directly to his Bandra home.

Dutt had to spend an extra night in jail as processing of the bail amount and surety at the special anti-terror TADA court in Mumbai took a little longer than anticipated Wednesday after Special Judge Pramod Kode issued release orders for Dutt and 16 others who were granted bail by the Supreme Court Tuesday.

To ensure that the convicts are granted bail at the earliest, the apex court had directed that the orders be sent to the anti-terror court in Mumbai through e-mail.

The special judge had fixed the bail amount and surety for the 17 on par with that furnished by them during the course of the trial.

Dutt had paid Rs.500,000 earlier as surety when he was granted bail for the first time by the Supreme Court in 1995. He had to furnish the same amount this time.

Dutt had said his conviction by the TADA court was based on a confession which he had later retracted as it was obtained under duress.

“We expect that Dutt will be out of jail for a while now as the appeal could take months to be heard by the Supreme Court. It may take over six months for the appeal to be heard and a ruling given,” said a legal expert.