If Munnabhai is pardoned, is Chulbul Pandey next?

VIKRAM MUTHANNA writes: After two decades, it is said that justice has been served in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case.

No, it hasn’t. What we have got is just a good balm.

Justice will never be served until Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon are caught and sentenced; like what the Americans did with Osama Bin Laden who was also hiding in Pakistan like Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon. But unfortunately, no one is really interested to know how our authorities plan to bring to book these “India’s most wanted.”

We wonder if there is even a plan at all. Instead, our Parliamentarians are busy trying to get a pardon for Sanjay Dutt.

Yes, it is indeed heartbreaking to see a now mellow-fellow Sanjay Dutt, father of two young children and also an older girl, go to prison. It is clear that he was not involved in any terrorist activities. But he has been booked for illegal possession of weapons under the Arms Act.

However, the fact remains that he committed an illegal act knowingly; and there is a law for punishing such offences and he has been sentenced for it. The law has taken its course. But, Dutt sympathisers must think, had Sanjay Dutt informed the Police about his “friends” smuggling arms, maybe today 257 of his countrymen would be alive?

But we want to know, why are our Parliamentarians going overboard in seeking a pardon for him?

Asking for early parole is one thing but complete pardon!? Former MP Jayaprada declared, “he is innocent!” Jaya Bachchan said, “Where was the government all these years? Suddenly you have realised he has to go to jail? This is rubbish…”

Yes! Our own lawmakers think that our judiciary and laws are rubbish.

Does that mean that Jaya Bachchan’s Samajwadi Party colleague and minister Raja Bhaiyya, if his case goes on long enough and is finally held guilty, must he be pardoned because “suddenly the judiciary realised he has to go to jail!”

Yes, indeed today, we feel for Sanjay Dutt.

We have softened as we think of him as the jhappi-giving Munna Bhai. No wonder, the first official support petition was put forth by former Supreme Court Judge Justice Markandey Katju.

But interestingly, the former Justice repeatedly said in his many interviews on TV channels that he does not watch movies and added, “I have not watched a movie in 40 years!”

Yet the former Justice wrote in his petition for pardon that Sanjay Dutt had “revived the memory of Mahatma Gandhi through his films”! and we believed Justice Katju when he said he had not watched a film in 40 years!

Also, we assure our former Justice that Sanjay Dutt didn’t do Munna Bhai for free so he could propagate Gandhiism.

He got paid for it.

Katju further stated that Sanjay Dutt had “suffered a lot and had to undergo various tribulations and indignities.”

Yes, we are sure he did. But isn’t that one of the objectives of punishment?

Justice Katju, justifying the tribulations suffered by Dutt, added: “He (Sanjay Dutt) had to go to court often, he had to take the permission of the court for foreign shootings, he could not get bank loans, etc.”

How can visiting courts often, taking permission to go abroad for shooting, inability to get bank loans and propagating Gandhiism through a movie written by someone else, produced by someone else while getting paid for acting in it be a justification to be pardoned on moral and legal grounds!?

Yes, Sanjay Dutt did go to jail for 18 months. But then he has also lived a happy life, he made movies, made money and made babies.

Now, if we remember rightly, wasn’t it the same Justice Katju who said that 90% of Indians are idiots…?

So now, many idiots would ask, that while the former Justice surely is not an idiot like us, has he not become a sentimental fool?

Going by Katju’s logic, can the former Justice also write a letter asking pardon for thousands of criminals who have committed petty offences which are bailable but are languishing in jail because they are too poor to pay for the bail amount?

Maybe Salman Khan can help. After all, it was his NGO last year which paid Rs 40 lakh for the release of 400 prisoners who had committed petty offences and were too poor to pay bail money in UP.

According to a 2011 report, nearly 70% of the total 3,00,000 inmates in India’s 1,356 prisons have not been convicted of any offence. They are undertrials. Of them, nearly 2,000 have spent more than five years behind bars without being convicted of any crime.

Will the people asking for Sanjay Dutt’s pardon, help these people?

While the Parliamentarians are asking for pardon for Sanjay, maybe they can mull over the Right to Justice Bill… if they know what it is.

In 1982-83, the All India Jail Reforms Committee had called for quick trials and simplification of bail procedures.

In 2011, it was the same M. Veerappa Moily who, as Law Minister, said, “the government is planning to introduce a Right to Justice Bill, whose highlight will be a time-bound justice delivery system”.

Nothing has happened.

Maybe Jayaprada and Jaya Bachchan can take it up? That way, next time they won’t have to be “startled” by judiciary’s sudden need to send Sanju baba to jail.

Also, if people should be pardoned without even completing 20% of their punishment, then why don’t the former Justice and the Parliamentarians rework the Indian Penal Code and say that possession of illegal arms will be punishable by just 18 months in prison, the one served already by Sanjay Dutt?

Why keep a form of punishment if you are not going to use it or if you can pressure a pardon out.

At this rate, Salman Khan may be getting his Public Relations machinery in gear. Carefully choosing powerful sympathisers and pardon-petitioners, keeping them ready, in case he gets sentenced.

After all, he has been charged with culpable homicide for driving over a man and killing him. The case has been going on for 10 years now. He is also charged in the Black Buck shooting case where he was sentenced to five years, for which he served three days in prison.

So, are we to expect that if the court sentences Salman to prison for five years for killing a black buck and a human being, we must pardon him for he has an NGO like “Being Human”?

Must we pardon him for paying for the release of 400 poor prisoners? and because he is our beloved Chulbul Pandey?

Yes. Emotional it is. But rational we must be.

As the saying goes, “You do the crime, you do the time.”

Sanjay Dutt has committed a crime and he has to do the time. At best, he can get an early parole for good behaviour and come out and continue his Gandhian work.

We don’t live in the movies where emotions rule. We live in a real world and in a real world it is the rule of law that keeps some semblance of civility.

Yes indeed, there is the theory of repentance and reformation.

Yes indeed, there is a need to see the spirit of the law, not just the word.

If that is the case, let us see the spirit of the law applied to all the petty cases — from the poor pickpocket to the sex-worker. After all, Sanjay Dutt did it to be a Macho Man. These people do it because they are human and they have to eat to live.

(Vikram Muthanna is the managing editor of Star of Mysore, where this column originally appeared)

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35 Responses to “If Munnabhai is pardoned, is Chulbul Pandey next?”

  1. Deepak Says:

    I think we need to scrap the existing judicial system. After all Digvijay Singh is there to issues certificates on who is a terrorist or not. And Katju is there waiting to empty the jail of rapists and gun runners. Let these worthy citizens run the legal show. Judges can go home and sleep. Why the hell should lawyers spend years to try cases and judges write 100s of pages of judgements, when Diggy and Katju can overturn the results of their work in a day?

    Poor Vadra was criticised for talking about aam admi in banana republic!! He spoke the truth! This is a banana republic governed by extra constitutional apes who arrogate to themselves the right to lay down the law!! And the news is that the policeman thrashed by MLA’s has been suspended and the MLA’s have been freed on bail. Is there a future for our country? No way! We are a disgusting country with no hope!

  2. asha Says:

    Sanjay Dutt was originally booked under TADA. Mysteriously CBI dropped TADA charges against him and only Illegal arms act case was filed so that he gets minimum punishment. If TADA case was not dropped he would be in jail for 10 years or more and rightly so.

    This is another way the evil congress is undermining the nation by showing its middle finger to highest judicial court of the land and telling everyone, if you are a congress henchman you will always be free no matter you kill 100s of people in multiple bomb blasts.

    When the Home Minister/Law Minister talk about clemency to a terrorist sympathizer, I guess Shri. Hafeez Sayeed must be laughing his ass off at the foolishness of GOI. If and when Sanjay gets clemency, it will be the second tight slap on the face of Supreme court, the first being the Italian Marine fiasco. But when you think about it, SC deserves such slaps since it has only people like Moorkhandeya Katju as judges.

  3. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Is the big deal with Sanjay Dutt serving a few years in jail that many crores are riding on him? Another example of how idiotic and unthinking we Indians are and proves the 90% statement of Katju.
    Katju has made himself into a ridiculous idiot, by taking up this specific cause.
    That is the problem with all of us Indians who have had it relatively easy all our lives. We can talk big things as long as it does not effect us personally. When it does, reality comes out.

  4. Kumar R C Says:

    Writer of (Editor) Star of Mysore, your writeup is a “star” in the Crown to our Justice Katju Sir.
    Thank you Sir, “” Star of Mysore”” Sir.

  5. Abdur Rehman Patrawala Says:

    Vikram Muthanna may be the progeny of Sangh Parivar. The original sin was committed by the Sangh Parivar with Shiv Sena by demolition of Babri Masjid and anti Muslim riots as in jungle raj broke out all over India killing thousands of innocent persons and destroying millions of rupees property, both movables and immovable. There was more than Rs. 10,000 cr. loss to public exchequer. No one is hanged or gone to life imprisonment. Bombay Bomb blast is extended violence killing 257 equally innocent persons. Justice is revenge as proved by the abuse of the adjudicatory process of law by the Apex Court.

  6. asha Says:

    Dr.Subramaniam Swamy has said he will file a PIL in SC if Sanjay Dutt is given clemency. Lets see how this plays out. Interestingly sanjay himself has not asked for clemency, while Katju and likes of Mahesh Butt bat for his clemency. Talking of Mahesh Butt, what happened to the case of his Rahul Butt, escorting Headley all over bombay to do scouting for 26/11 attack. We should not let this one disappear from public memory. Both mahesh butt and his son should be booked under mcoca and investigated.

  7. praveen Kodabagi Says:

    Sanjay Dutt has committed a crime and serious one too. Freeing him, showing sympathy etc would only give a very bad example of our thought and a classic case of class divisions existing in our society. Markandey Katju is an intellectual,we certainly do not expect these kind of things from him otherwise he will go on proving what he himself had said recently that majority of Indians are idiots.
    No wonder people are very much disillusioned with the system in India and are increasingly turning Dissidents. I think democracy has lost its meaning nd purpose in India

  8. Doddi Buddi Says:

    ‘X’ Guy is the Dr. Ramesh of NRI variety!

  9. Sanjeeva Says:

    Why should we have a legal system at all? After 20 years of probing and following a long legal process, the guilty are convicted and awarded punishment. Immediately there is a clamour for pardon – not for all but for one person. It is outrageous to see that those who want punishment to be set aside are none other than so-called protectors and patrons of law. Few Hon’ble MPs, a former CM, a former Justice and few self-styled intellectuals. Are the citizens of India bakras? The reason given are more outrageous – a child, an innocent, crores are invested on him etc. This is sheer mockery of law. Is this Justice for All? This is nothing but systematically destroying the country’s moral fabric – if there is anything left at all.

  10. Vinay Says:

    Doddi Buddi:

    Totally agree with you. Worse than Dr. Ramesh – at least our Ramesappa sir has self-pride and self-respect. On the other hand, all our “Anonymous Guy” has to offer is shit like “Indians are inferior”, “Indians have a small Penis”, “the White man is superior to us in every way”, “Indians are useless and cannot achieve anything, Indian men are weak”.

    He is the typical “house nigger”, as they say in the US. House nigger philosophy goes like this- White man hate native. Native bad. Me good native. Me also hate bad native.

  11. AdithyaHK Says:

    The pardon clamouring started after the judgemental Katju’s supplication, well, he is no longer a judge but is he a mental?

  12. R.Vijayaraghavan, Bellary Says:

    Nice. The Hindu editorial and Dinesh Ameenmattu’s Prajavani article articulate the same concern. Inglorious thing is what ShanthiBhushan has argued for. It is a poor defence argument.
    R.Vijayaraghavan, Bellary

  13. rajesh108 Says:

    Dear fellow blogger,
    I am quite infuriated by the arguments being advanced in favour of pardoning Dutt, and actually am quite afraid that due to the weight of voices like pseudo-politician “Justice” Katju and now Digvijay Singh, that the governor of Maharashtra (essentially an appointee) will be strongly pressured. I have started a petition for like minded persons who feel that justice should be meted out equally to all. Please check it out (and if is agreeable to you support it in whatever way you can): http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/sanjay-dutt-must-serve-his-prison-sentence-like-anyone.html

  14. dr ramesh Says:

    Congress and bjp are your two eyes, but sadly both of them are in utter mess, swimming in a sewer drain.
    Illogical thinking and unscientific mindset like yours have destroyed India beyond repair.

  15. harkol Says:

    In Rajat Gupta case in US courts, the judge ruled that all his good deeds or charity works are of no consequence. The judge said that “If Mother Teresa were charged with bank robbery, the jury would still have to determine whether or not she committed a bank robbery”.

    So, Katju is being part of his 90% fool category, and is also trying to pull the wool over the rest of the 10%??

    What is Katju saying?

    – That law doesn’t matter if one has children, has acted as Gandhi in couple of movies and has famous parents?

    – That lengthy trial is cause for pardon?

    – That wanting the law of the land prevail is equivalent to being a shylock?

    – There is no harm in keeping automatic military weapons is an pardonable offense?

    For Mr. Katju, who released a Rapist, when he agreed to pay Rs.1.5Lakh fine to the victim, I guess any offense is ‘pardonable’. He is one of those bleeding heart liberal who puts the well being of criminals above that of society.

    I also saw an article by Shanti Bhushan in ‘the Hindu’, where he pointed to a scope in law for Sanjay Dutt to use in a ‘curative petetion’. He was suggesting that since Sanjay Dutt kept the weapon for self-defense, and since IPC provides a man to do ‘anything’ for the purpose of private self-defense under credible danger (of post ayodhya violence), his actions are not illegal!!

    By this definition, I should go and acquire nuclear weapons! There is credible danger from Pakistan, and I have a right to self defense too!

    The length to which the Idiots go!

  16. harkol Says:

    Oh Forgot.

    1. Would Mr. Katju, who was spewing venom of Modi recently, clarify on what basis is he not pardoning Modi, when Modi has never been convicted by any court of any crime, but wants a pardon to a person convicted for a serious crime under our law?

    2. Would Mr. Digvijay Singh, extend the same courtesy to Pragya Singh, who was only 35 when she allegedly consorted with the Malegaon blast accused? In her case the only evidence is a bike that was registered in her name, which she had sold before the blast! There is no other material evidence, and still she is in Jail inspite of Cancer?? Would Mr. Katju raise up and demand such action?

  17. Madhusudhan B S Says:

    I Request you all read the article written by Dinesh Amin Mattu on this subject on 25/03/2013(in Prajavani) and please translate it in English , then the ignorants( or they fooling us?) such as Katju will be realized

  18. Sanjeeva Says:

    @Madhusudan, Have you seen the Hindi film “Krantiveer”? Dimple Kapadia is a journalist fighting for the cause of downtrodden and Nana Patekar is an aggressive maverick. He keeps on taunting the journalist about her work. One of his dialogues is :Arre, for centuries people could not learn anything from your Ramayan, Mahabharat, Gita and other things and would they reform by reading your news reports? The worth of your news paper is to use it as toilet paper to clean the shit of children!”.

    The thing is pure common sense and elementary. No doubt Mattu’s article is well written. But what is the use? Those who are asking for pardon are not bacchas. They are educated, are in very high and influential positions, law makers and all that. Yet, if they are saying something, it is with full knowledge and with a purpose. Whether the purpose is evil or for a cause is for the people to think.

  19. Jusmi Says:

    Wait. Only a small percentage of the Rs 200 crores “riding” on the man (estimate i read from reports, not my estimate!) has started talking. Expect the crescendo to rise, with more fervent clamour for pardon from the merciful and righteous gentry.

  20. babuds Says:

    After Lalu’s retirement as national jester, we had only Diggy Raja filling the gap and now we have Katju too.

  21. Nastika Says:

    3 years is a short time. If Sanjay Dutt respects the law of the land, he will do the sentence and continue his work after 3 years.

    Actually, any other option will only delay the inevitable. Folks lobbying for pardon are wasting their time. They probably have a vested interest and not ‘public-welfare’ as the reason for pardon.


  22. harkol Says:

    babuds: Diggy is a comedic villain. The Khadi wearing Neta that Sadashiv Amarpurkar and others have depicted so many times.

    Katju is the true joker. In fact, he doesn’t even need any make up, and his ‘dialogs’ are naturally funny.

    Who else can shoot up a Pardon Plea, without having a locus standi, to a governor – who has no authority to pardon a crime under Arms Act, and then go on to defend it with a straight face, even as the whole world is laughing at him?

    He has to be a top class joker.

  23. Vinay Says:

    There is no way he will be pardoned. The public outrage will be just too much. Though the middle class may not vote, the middle class has the maximum “noise capacity” – they are the ones whose voice gets heard in media – both television and print. The powers-that-be know the amount of muck that the middle class will kick up if there is a pardon.

    Having got used to seeing the rich and powerful get away without punishment for decades, the middle class welcomes the action against powerful/famous personalities that we have begun seeing this decade. Salman Khan and Saif Ali Khan are next in line.

    And about time too.

  24. Sanjeeva Says:

    @Vinay, Middle class’ voice gets heard! You must be joking. Maybe, voice is heard, but then that’s it. That’s all. Only heard. No action.

  25. Venkatesh Says:

    All things said and done, the guy was caught dealing in weapons with known terrorists. I see no logical reason why he should be pardoned. He should be treated as a terrorist and dealt with.

  26. the colonel Says:

    SD was dealing with terrorists, knowing fully well what they were up to.

    Go through the list of arms, ammn and GRENADES in possession.
    Since when are GRENADES used in self defence.

    He says he did it to protect his family. But They never asked for protection.

    He should have used his own and families reach to warn about the oncoming onslaught. HE DID NOT.

    He is guilty. have no doubts.

    the only sad part is that those in the shiv sena and the police and the govt in end 92 and early 93 have not been booked nor sentenced.


    the morally correct way out is to say that the whole damn lot have been sentenced.


    their sentences have been suspended.

    if done it will be a correct and final closure for all concerned.

    the case is very complicated and many people have said with due respect that the judge had no idea what he is doing.

    and before you start shooting me find out about hueseini brahmins.

  27. Gayathri Rao Says:

    A very nice write up.One of the reasons why Bollywood is sympathetic about Sanju Baba could be because, they know of so many other people in their industry who have done bad things, worst things but have never been booked. But immaterial of all of those, if there is a crime there needs to be punishment for it. It is actually surprising to see so many people running around to get pardon for Sanju Baba. IF he is truly matured and realizes his mistake , he should realize that he did a bad thing and this is way of cleansing himself. If he is ever released or pardoned, I do not think we should have any further courts , the whole justice system will become a joke.

  28. dr ramesh Says:

    A former bjp president was caught on camera for accepting a bundle of notes, which is quite a routine in modern day India, yet he was penalized, his political career cut short, he was pronounced guilty by court.
    Why no pardon for him, why no pardon for madhu koda?
    List is endless, Bollywood has become a criminal sanctuary, anti social acts being repoerted daily, who will control them? Congress should introspect and answer.

  29. Nic Says:

    You cannot pardon a terrorist, it would put across the wrong message

  30. Vinay Says:


    Anything in the recent past, from the Jessica Lall case, to the Ruchika case, to the Muthalik episode, to the mass protests for the Delhi gangrape – all of these are outpourings of middle-class angst. The media covers such mass outpouring of middle class angst, and that is when the administration is spurred into action.

    The Delhi police did an awesome job by catching all the culprits involved in Delhi gangrape within 48 hours, from various nooks and corners of the nation. Would they have acted without all the media pressure and the nationwide middle class outrage? Would Kasab have been tried so quickly if he had been a for-gain murderer or some underworld bhai?

    Whether we like it or not, media spotlight and middle class anger causes things to move here. And this fear of media spotlight is what makes it extremely unlikely that Sanjay Dutt will get a pardon, no matter what Katju baba says.

  31. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Doctor Ramesappa!
    Nann hal noytha eyethe
    yeno yeno jum jum anth-eyethe
    Naanu thumba JDS meetai thinbutte
    Secular kajjaya swalpa jasthine thagondbitte
    Nimm hathra yen-eyethe upaya
    Wasi thiliskodu dhammayya

  32. Vinay Says:

    Doddi Buddi:

    Dr. Ramesappa hattira hogbeDi – he will take horrible revenge for all the churumuri discussions you’ve had with him. Anesthetic illade hallu kithaaktare, ashte!!

  33. dr ramesh Says:

    JD S mithai tindre paravaagilla——– Congress, bjp avru free agi 60,90 local brand, chaakna kodtaare antha togobedi, bejaan kashta aaitade.
    May 8 result bartade, kumaaranna C M aitare, neevu Bangalore ge banni, treatment kodona, kashta sukha discuss maadona.

  34. Doddi Buddi Says:

    I have noted your concern. After May 8 Dr Ramesappa himself will be “hal-kittha-haavu” but nodona!

    battheevi battheevi; nimdu talent-ge torisbidi; Senior Gowdru aagle violation of poll conduct TV documentary alli sikhakondu bittidhare!

  35. Sanjeeva Says:

    ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ಸು ಲೀಡರ್ ಲೆಸ್ಸು, ಬಿಜೆಪಿ ಇನ್ ಎ ಮೆಸ್ಸು, ಸೋ , ಜೆಡಿ ಗೆ ಒಳ್ಳೆ ಚಾನ್ಸು!

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