Actor Sanjay Dutt, who had earlier requested the TADA court to shift him from the egg-shaped high-security "Anda" cell in Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail, has now refused to file any application for a change of cell.
On Friday (17 May), Dutt's lawyer Rizwan Merchant had claimed that the actor has been lodged in a bunker that was once occupied by the 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab. According to Merchant, the cell which was specially constructed for Kasab has no ventilation and the actor feels suffocated and couldn't even tell if it was day or night.
Merchant said Dutt should not be kept in such a cell as "he is not a terrorist". "My client is lodged in the 'Anda' cell where Kasab was kept. Dutt is not a terrorist. There is no ventilation at all and the entire cell is so dark that he cannot figure out whether it is day or night. We understand that it is for security reasons, but my client is not a TADA convict, nor is he a terrorist," he told the court.
Merchant made an oral plea requesting that Dutt be shifted to another cell. The TADA court judge, GA Sanap, said on Friday that he would decide on the petition once Dutt files a written application. However, Dutt met his counsel on Saturday and told him that he does not want to file any application for the change of cell.
"I met Dutt, he seem to be in a better frame of mind. He has no complains. Also when I asked him if he wants me to file an application for the change of his cell, he refused," said Merchant, according to DNA.
The 53-year-old Bollywood actor was convicted under the Arms Act in connection with the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts. The apex court sentenced him to five years jail term, but the actor had already spent 18 months in jail. On 16 May, Dutt surrendered before the special TADA court to serve the remaining three-and-a-half year jail term.
Non-bailable warrants against two convicts
Meanwhile, judge Sanap has issued non-bailable warrants against two other convicts - Zaibunnisa Kazi (70) and Sharif Parker (80) - after they failed to surrender by the deadline set by the Supreme Court.
Their lawyer, Farhana Shah, said both have to be given time to surrender as they are facing serious health concerns. Parker, who suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this week, is currently undergoing treatment at Prince Aly Khan Hospital, Mazgaon. On the other hand, Kazi - a cancer patient - needs sonography. Their counsel requested more time for them to surrender.
However, the judge rejected the requests and issued non-bailable warrants against the two convicts. But they might not get arrested immediately. "We will verify with the hospitals where they are reportedly being treated, speak to doctors and submit a report to the court in a few days," said CBI prosecutor D N Salvi, according to a leading daily.