Munnabhai star Sanjay Dutt today declared that he will return to jail to serve out the remainder of hsi five-year sentence linked to the 1993 Mumbai Bombings and not seek a pardon.
An emotional Dutt held a press conference outside his home in Mumbai and said he will finally give up his two-decade long battle for freedom and face the music.
The actor has been on bail since 2007 when he appealed against an original sentence of six years for acquiring weapons from the men accused of the attacks that killed 257 people.
Last week the Supreme Court rejected his final appeal against his conviction but reduced his sentence to five years and ordered him to return to custody within four weeks.
Dutt, 53, repeatedly broke down during the press conference and was comforted by parliamentarian sister Priya.
"Right now I am a shattered man, my family is shattered," he said.
"I am not going for pardon, there is no debate about it .. The honourable Supreme Court has given me time to surrender and I will surrender at that time."
Dutt had already spent 18 months in prison before being released on bail so he is expected to serve another 3.5 years.
His sentencing elicited a wave of support from the Bollywood fraternity, some of whom was outraged by what they saw as an unnecessarily harsh punishment.
The Chairman of the Press Council of India, Markandey Katju was even moved to make a public call for a pardon for the actor.
Millions of rupees tied up in film projects face jeopardy owing to the actor's jail sentence and Dutt appealed to the media to allow him to make the most of his remaining freedom.
"I have a lot of work, I have to finish all that work. I have to spend all this time with my family, so I, with folded hands, tell you all that just let me be in peace till the time I go in," he said.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS