Bollywood actor Dutt "shattered" as sent back to jail

Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:20pm EDT
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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt was sentenced to five years jail by India's Supreme Court on Thursday for possession of illegal weapons in a long-running case linked to the 1993 Mumbai bombings.

Dutt, 53, popular for his role as a do-good gangster in the "Munnabhai" films, was sentenced to six years prison in 2007 for acquiring illegal weapons from the men convicted for the Mumbai attacks that killed 257 people.

But he appealed against the sentence and was released on bail, pending a further hearing.

The court on Thursday rejected Dutt's final appeal and ordered him to return to custody in four weeks time.

Dutt, one of Bollywood's biggest stars, said he was "shattered and in emotional distress" as he had suffered for 20 years and already spent 18 months in prison.

"I am heartbroken because today along with me, my 3 children and my wife and my family will undergo the punishment," Dutt said in a statement.

"I know in my heart that I have always been a good human being, respected the system and always been loyal to my country."

His lawyer Satish Maneshinde told reporters that the length of sentence had come as a shock to Dutt who has continued to make a long list of films despite the legal action against him.

"We will wait for a copy of the Supreme Court judgment and then decide the further course of action. He is a strong man and will fight back," he said, adding that his client would need to serve 3.5 years as he had already been in jail for 18 months.   Continued...

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt arrives on the green carpet for the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Colombo June 5, 2010. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri