New Delhi, Aug 15: Actor Sanjay Dutt yesterday admitted in the Supreme Court that he once had dinner at Dawood Ibrahim's house in Dubai but denied any friendship with the underworld don.
When the apex court bench of Justice P Sathasivam and Justice BS Chauhan asked whether this submission means Dutt's relationship with Dawood is only for film shooting, the actor's counsel Harish Salve replied in the affirmative.
The next query was about Dutt's link with the Memon brothers who have also been held responsible for the 1993 Bombay blasts. Stating that the actor had never met Tiger Memon, Salve said that Dutt had only heard about the latter from film producer Samir Hingora who gave the rifles and the pistol to him.
About the 9-mm pistol and the AK 56 rifle that was recovered by the police from Dutt's possession, Salve said that the actor was given three rifles since his father Sunil Dutt and sisters were getting death threats for helping some Muslims post the Babri Masjid demolition.
Salve told the court that Dutt had returned two of the rifles immediately. Dutt had got the 9-mm pistol in Sept 1992 much before the serial bomb blasts, the counsel said.
He claimed that Dutt's conviction under the Arms Act for possessing the AK 56 rifle and the pistol was not connected in any way with the blasts.
The court then wanted to know why Dutt had confessed to the police and later retracted. "Why did he retract after one-and-a-half years? You [the actor] could have done it immediately," Justice Sathasivam said.
Salve argued that, "This was not a case under the TADA at all, and confession would have no relevance without...any conspiracy. When there is no nexus, confession can't be the basis for conviction."
Salve said that the CBI had not appealed after the actor was acquitted of the charge of conspiracy in the blasts under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.
However, Justice Chauhan pointed out that the other accused in the case were upset because "CBI filed an appeal against all making an exception for Sanjay Dutt."
Appearing for accused Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, senior counsel Jaspal Singh said that CBI did not oppose Dutt's bail even though the actor had confessed his guilt and both the AK 56 rifle as well as the 9-mm pistol were recovered from his possession.
The special bench had on Nov 1, 2011 started hearing a bunch of appeals filed by convicts as well as CBI in the 1993 bomb blasts case.
In 2006, the TADA court had awarded capital punishment to 12 of the accused. As many as 78 others were sentenced to varying terms ranging from three years to life imprisonment.