Mumbai, Oct 22 (IANS) Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt was Monday headed back to Pune's Yerewada Jail after a two-month reprieve when a special anti-terrorism court here gave him a copy of the judgement convicting him in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.
The actor, who surrendered before the special Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court here Monday afternoon, was taken out of his temporary cell in the Arthur Road jail at around 8.30 p.m. and escorted to a waiting police van to be taken to Pune. He is expected to reach the Pune jail by 1 a.m.
Earlier, after his surrender he had requested TADA court Judge P.D. Kode for permission to speak to his daughter Trishala in the US and wear home clothes in jail.
Dutt had been granted bail by the apex court Aug 20 pending receipt of a copy of the judgement.
Dutt's advocates Satish Maneshinde and Karan Singh told reporters that they will file an appeal against the TADA court's verdict on Friday.
In what could spell further trouble for the actor, the prosecution will recommend to the government to appeal against the judgement of Judge Kode who had found Dutt not guilty under provisions of the TADA.
The court had in July sentenced the actor to six years' rigorous imprisonment under the Arms Act for illegal possession of an AK-57 army assault rifle and attempting to destroy it.
After he surrendered and was taken into custody, dressed in his trademark blue shirt, blue jeans and boots to match, Dutt sought permission from Judge Kode to phone his daughter to which the judge replied that he would allow her to visit him in prison.
Dutt said he only wanted to talk to her over the phone. Kode granted him the permission. Advocate Maneshinde requested the judge to ensure that the same security is maintained in jail for Dutt as before.
In the morning, three convicts, Yashwant Bhoinkar, and father-son duo Shahjahan and Abbas Shaikhdare were given copies of the judgement concerning them. The trio have already served their jail term of three years under the Customs Act but are in custody.
In all, 21 convicts have received the copies of the verdict
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who led the trial on behalf of the prosecution, told media persons shortly after Dutt's surrender that he would also recommend that the prosecution agencies appeal against the meagre sentences awarded to some of the accused in the Mumbai serial blasts case.
The fast-paced developments followed the handing over of certified copies of the judgement, which runs into 4,340 pages and weighs almost 25 kg, to some of the accused and the prosecution.
The court started handing over certified copies of the judgement to the convicts since last Saturday. While 13 convicts, including 10 facing death sentences - Asghar Yusuf Mukaddam, Shoaib Ghansare, Abdul Gani Turk, Parvez Shaikh, Mushtaque Tarani, Shahnawaz Qureishi, Abdul Akhtar Khan, Farooque Pawle, Zakir Hussain and Feroz Malik got their copies that day, Dutt was given his copy on Monday. He is accused No. 117 on the list.
Two others on the death row - Yakub Memon, brother of absconding prime accused Tiger Memon, and Iqbal Shaikh - were not brought to the court on Saturday since they remained indisposed. Three others who have been sentenced to life terms - Salim Rahim Shaikh, Nasim Barmare and Bashir Khairullah - were given their copies.
Dutt's associates Kersi Adjania and Russi Mulla also received their copies Monday. On Tuesday, the members of the Memon family, former additional customs collector Somnath Thapa, Imtiaz Gawthe and some women convicts are likely to be given their copies.
The court in its July ruling had not found Dutt guilty under the draconian provisions of TADA. It had ruled that he had acquired the weapons for self defence in the wake of the communal carnage that engulfed Mumbai in December 1992-January 1993, a couple of months before the serial bomb explosions.