SC Verdict Bars Sanjay Dutt From Poll Arena

Refusing to suspend his conviction in a criminal case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday put a firm lid on Bollywood ace Sanjay Dutt’s parliamentary aspirations, Dutt was counting on the waiver from the apex court to contest the forthcoming Lok Saba elections as a Samajwadi Party candidate from Lucknow.

“We are not inclined to suspend his conviction,” said a Bench comprising of Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and RM Lodha.

“It is not a fit case to grant stay of conviction,” said the Bench.

While saying that the power of the court to suspend the conviction of a person to enable him to contest the elections had to be exercised rarely, the disallowed Dutt’s plea citing the lack of parity between his case and that of cricketer-turned-parliamentarian Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Sidhu had resigned his seat after he was convicted in a case of unintentional killing.

Dutt has been sentenced to six years in jail by a Mumbai anti-terror court hearing the 1993 serial bomb blasts in the city.

The court said that Dutt had been convicted of “serious offence” under the Arms Act and was disqualified from contesting elections under the Section 8 (3) of the Representation of People Act, which debars a person sentenced to two or more years of imprisonment from contesting elections.

Dutt’s wife Manyata Dutt is now likely to be the SP candidate for the Lucknow parliamentary segment.

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