Bollywood star Dutt granted bail


NEW DELHI -- Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt was granted interim bail Monday by India's Supreme Court following his imprisonment on July 31 after a special anti-terrorism court gave him a six-year jail term (HR 8/1).

Dutt was found guilty by the TADA Court -- Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act -- on charges of receiving guns from key plotters of the 1993 Mumbai bomb attacks, which killed 257 people.

Monday's bail ruling is seen as an interim development and has been awarded since the Supreme Court is still awaiting the detailed sentence pronounced by the TADA Court, which is expected to be ready by Aug. 24

Dutt is expected to be released Tuesday from a jail in the western city of Pune.

Dutt's lawyer said that the Supreme Court had outlined conditions on which bail was granted to the actor along with five other accused in the 1993 blasts case. "The court granted bail to all the six accused on condition that they will report to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Mumbai once a week, that they will not abuse their freedom, and that they will surrender the moment they get the copy of the (TADA Court) judgment, whereafter they'll individually file separate appeals, raise their different grounds, and argue their case in the Supreme Court," the attorney said.

Dutt served a 16-month sentence in 1993 but was released on bail. The case against him subsequently went into hearing at the specially commissioned TADA court that has sentenced 96 people.

Though the court had cleared him of terrorist charges in an earlier ruling, TADA court judge Pramod Kode said in his ruling that, even though he was not sure Dutt had the guns to commit a terrorist act, merely having them "shows scant respect to the law."