Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt is likely to be lodged at Yerwada Central Jail in Pune, the same prison where Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab was hanged last year.
After the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday dismissed his review petition against the five-year sentence handed to him for illegal possession of arms in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blast case, Dutt has no option but to surrender before the TADA court by 15 May.
Security personnel are tight-lipped on Dutt's new address but sources said that he would be kept at Yerwada Central Jail in a separate cell under tight security. The Maharashtra government will take the final decision in a few days' time.
"Dutt is expected to be sent to Yerwada. We have all facilities there to lodge high-profile convicts and it is considered to be safe. Security has been beefed up in Yerwada following the murder of Indian Mujahideen operative Qateel Siddiqui," DNA quoted a source as saying.
"As per the procedure, he will first surrender before the TADA court and later will be handed over to Arthur Road jail from where the jail authority will provide him security. Earlier, he was lodged in a Thane jail where he was kept in the anda cell and later he was shifted to the Yerwada jail and kept in separate cell," said a jail officer.
Yerwada Central Jail is known for housing hard-core criminals. The 26/11 Mumbai terror attacker, Ajmal Kasab, was imprisoned here in 2008 until his hanging in November last year. He was buried in the same vicinity. The jail also housed Abdul Karim Telgi, the accused in fake stamp paper scam, and gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli who is currently serving a life sentence. Dutt is also familiar to this jail as he spent 18 months in jail in the past in connection with the 1993 Mumbai bomb blast case.
On 21 March, the apex court upheld Dutt's conviction by the special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) court for illegal possession of a 9mm pistol and an AK-56 rifle under the Arms Act. The court reduced the sentence to five years and gave the actor four weeks' time to surrender.
Following the ruling of the SC, the 53-year-old actor will go to jail this week to serve the remaining three-and-half-year sentence.
Dutt was earlier sentenced to six years in jail after he was convicted by the TADA court in 2007 for illegal possession of arms, while acquitting him of the terror charges under the now defunct Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act. The SC, however, reduced the sentence to five years in a fresh hearing.
Mumbai city was rocked by 12 bomb blasts on 12 March, 1993. Around 257 people were killed and more than 700 were injured.