Calling it a "massive blow",
Bollywood fraternity today expressed sadness and shock after
Sanjay Dutt was sentence to five years in jail by the
Supreme Court for illegal arms possession during the 1993
serial Mumbai blasts.
The 53-year-old has already served 18 months of his term and will now have to spend three and a half years in jail. The court has given the actor four weeks time to surrender.
The fate of three big budget films is riding on Dutt with 'Zanjeer' remake, 'Policegiri' and Rajkumar Hirani's 'Peekay', currently under production. Dutt was also slated to reprise his role of a lovable goon in Hirani's third Munnabhai film, whose future remains unclear now.
Director-producer Karan Johar, who has signed Dutt in his upcoming film 'Ungli', said, "I am truly shattered to hear of Sanju's sentence... the nicest guy I have known just doesn't deserve this... My heart goes out to him."
Director Subhash Kapoor, who was recently signed on to shoot the third 'Munnabhai film, said he was surprised by the judgement.
"I am in shock and surprised. I personally expected the Supreme Court to be more lenient to him. Have no words to express my shock," Kapoor told PTI.
When asked whether the judgement will affect the fate of the third Munnabhai film, Kapoor said, "It's too early to comment on this issue. My producers Vidhu Vinod Chopra is in America now and Raju (Hirani) is busy shooting 'Peekay'. Once Vidhu gets back, I will speak to him about this. The film was in a very nascent stage."
Director Kunal Kohli too batted for Dutt, saying, "The '93 blast case should not be made about Sanjay Dutt. The Real planners are sitting safely in Pakistan like Osama Bin Laden was."
Music director Vishal Dadlani said, "I am not contesting/denying the law, but it breaks my heart that
Sanjay Dutt has to face this. He has done so much, so
selflessly for so many!."
"Sad to know the verdict on Sanjay Dutt, my heart goes out to him and his family... he was a fighter, is one and will always be one," said Aftab Shivdasani.
"Sending out a big big hug to Sanju. The most forgiving man I know. Sad he could not be forgiven himself," director Anubhav Sinha said.
"I will be very sad to see Sanjay Dutt go back to jail... where I used to meet him years ago. A second term will destroy the man," tweeted Pritish Nandy
The actor was convicted by the TADA court for illegal possession a 9 mm Pistol and a AK-56 rifle which was part of the consignment of weapons and explosives brought to India for the coordinated serial blasts that killed 257 people and injured over 700.