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Sanjay Dutt: Tough verdict

Sanjay Dutt is hardly a stranger to controversy. The actor, the only son of Bollywood power couple, Sunil Dutt and Nargis, the enfant terrible of Bollywood has now been sentenced to six years in prison for illegal possession of weapons.

By Krishna Gopalan | Print Edition: August 26, 2007

Sanjay Dutt is hardly a stranger to controversy. The actor, the only son of Bollywood power couple, Sunil Dutt and Nargis, and who has spent close to three decades in the Hindi film industry, has had a turbulent life which has involved trysts with drugs, guns and more than a small degree of proximity to the underworld. The enfant terrible of Bollywood has now been sentenced to six years in prison for illegal possession of weapons.

The issue goes back to the 1993 Mumbai blasts. Less than two months before the blasts, gangster Abu Salem is said to have given Dutt three AK-56 rifles, hand grenades and a pistol, that were allegedly smuggled into India. Dutt was arrested earlier on the same charge and spent about 18 months in jail between 1993 and 1995.

Sanjay Dut
Sanjay Dutt


His career was then at its peak and Subhash Ghai's Khalnayak, starring Dutt, which was released around this time, went on to become a huge hit. He was then being spoken of as the next superstar of Bollywood, but his one-and-a-half-year absence put paid to those hopes. He did come back in style-and movies like Vaastav, where he played a gangster, Mission Kashmir and Kaante were noticed by the audience. His biggest success, however, was reserved for Munnabhai MBBS and its sequel, Lage Raho Munnabhai which set the cash registers ringing.

But Dutt is a fighter. He has faced and overcome a string of adversities-drug abuse, the death of his first wife to cancer and several failed relationships-but has never really allowed any of this to affect his career. Bollywood producers, who have over Rs 100 crore riding on him, will be hoping for relief from the higher judiciary.

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