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Court gives Sanjay Dutt more time

Mumbai — Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt got some more time Thursday to surrender as a special court, hearing arguments on his bail plea in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, fixed Feb 20 as the next date.

Dutt had urged for leniency before the special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Preventive) Act (TADA) court that convicted him in November 2006 for possessing illegal arms but absolved him of terror conspiracy.

The judge granted Dutt extension of time to surrender until further orders. The court, which had granted him a one-day bail extension Wednesday, heard arguments by the prosecution on Dutt’s application seeking benefit under the Probation of Offenders Act.

As arguments were inconclusive, Dutt’s senior counsel T.K. Manohar was given time till Feb 20 to file a rejoinder.

Arguments on sentencing of the other convicts will be taken up from Feb 14.

This is the sixth reprieve for the Bollywood star since November when he was found guilty of possessing a 9mm pistol and an AK-56 rifle.

Under the Arms Act, Dutt faces punishment ranging from five to 10 years in jail.

Sanjay, who already possessed licensed pistols, had acquired an AK-56 allegedly from mobster Abu Salem’s aide Ibrahim Mussa in January 1993 as he thought he needed self-protection.

He was arrested in April 1993, a month after the blasts rocked Mumbai, and spent nearly 16 months in jail in two stretches

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