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Now, Shiv Sena shows no mercy for Sanjay Dutt

Says leniency to actor will send out a wrong message to society.

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Amid growing clamour for considering a pardon for convicted Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, the Shiv Sena on Monday opposed the move on the grounds that it would send “a wrong message” to society. The latest development is being seen as a change of stance by the Shiv Sena.

“There is no need for a rethink on the Supreme Court judgment. If Dutt is given a pardon, it will send a wrong message to society,” said Shiv Sena legislator Neelam Gorhe, while speaking on a debate in the Legislative Council on the law and order situation in the state.

She said leaders from various political parties have demanded that Dutt be pardoned. “If leniency is shown to Dutt, it would be tantamount to providing a political cover to convicts,” Gorhe argued.

Her assertions came in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict on March 19 which upheld Dutt’s conviction for illegal possession of prohibited weapons like an AK-56 assault rifle and a revolver and sentenced him to five years in jail.

Film personalities and politicians cutting across party lines appealed to the Maharashtra government for initiating proceedings to enable Dutt to get a pardon from the state governor.

The Dutts have been close to the Thackeray family. The then Congress MP and Sanjay’s father Sunil Dutt and late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray enjoyed a strong rapport despite differing political backgrounds.  Sunil Dutt had turned up to Thackeray to ensure that his actor son got some relief after he was jailed under the stringent Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA).

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