Sanjay Dutt's 20-year nightmare

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt's conviction in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case and sentenced him to five years imprisonment. Dutt, who has already served 18 months of his term in prison, has four weeks to surrender.

Dutt, who was convicted under the Arms Act for illegally possessing weapons, had been awarded six years imprisonment by the TADA (Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act) court.

However, the apex court reduced the sentence from six years to five years. This effectively means that Dutt will be in jail for three years and six months as he has already undergone 18 months imprisonment.

March 12, 1993:
Mumbai rocked by 12 bomb blasts between 1:33 pm to 3:40 pm which killed around 257 people and injured another 713. Property worth Rs. 27 crore was damaged in the blasts.

April 19, 1993: Police escorts Sanjay Dutt on his arrival from Mauritius, saying an AK-56 rifle found in his house was from the consignment of arms smuggled into India before the blasts. He is arrested.
April 26, 1993: Sanjay Dutt admits to the charges in his confession. But later retracts.
May 3, 1993: Sanjay Dutt released on bail.

November 1993: A 90,000-page long primary chargesheet was filed against the 189 accused in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case including Sanjay Dutt.
July 4, 1994: Bail cancelled and he is re-arrested.

October 16, 1995: After spending nearly 16 months in jail, Sanjay Dutt again gets bail.

March 2006: When framing murder charges against extradited Abu Salem and co-accused Riyaz Siddiqui in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case, the prosecution said that Salem delivered 9 AK-56 rifles and some hand grenades to Dutt at his Bandra house in the second week of January 1993.
November 27, 2006: TADA court delivering verdict in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case summons Sanjay Dutt.
November 28, 2006: Sanjay Dutt is found guilty under Arms Act but is acquitted in all cases related to TADA.

February 13, 2007: The special branch of Mumbai police arrested Abdul Qayyum Abdul Karim Shaikh, a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim and wanted by Mumbai Police Special Task Force for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts from Mumbai. Qayuum had been named by Sanjay Dutt in his confessional statement. Dutt had said that he met Qayuum in Dubai in September 1992 and bought a pistol from him. According to CBI, the pistol was sold to Sanjay at the instance of Dawood's brother Anees Ibrahim.

July 2007: Sanjay Dutt convicted for illegal possession of a 9 mm pistol and an AK-56 rifle but acquitted of more serious charges under the now defunct Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) law and sentenced to six years jail term.

August 2, 2007: Sanjay Dutt re-arrested. Taken to Yerawaada Jail in Pune.

August 20, 2007: Sanjay Dutt Dutt granted bail by Supreme Court.

August 23, 2007: Dutt is released from jail.

October 22, 2007:
Dutt is back in jail but again applied for bail.

November 27, 2007: Dutt is granted bail by the Supreme Court.

January 2009: Dutt announced that he would contest the 2009 Lok Sabha elections on the Samajwadi Party ticket.

March 2009: Withdraws his candidacy after the Supreme Court refused to suspend his conviction, the Samajwadi Party instead named him the General Secretary of the party.

December 2010: Leaves the post of Samajwadi Party General Secretary due to many controversies.

August 2012: Dutt admitted meeting underworld don Dawood Ibrahim once at a dinner that was hosted by him in Dubai. He responded in the negative to the Supreme Court's query if he had any friendship with the don. The court was told that the said dinner related to the period prior to the 1993 serial bomb blasts and that was the only occasion that the actor met the don, suspected to be in Pakistan.

August 2012:  Dutt told the Supreme Court that his offence of possessing a rifle and ammunition was not linked to the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts. Appearing for the actor, senior counsel Harish Salve told the apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan that he came to possess the weapon in September 1992 when his father Sunil Dutt and sisters were facing threats as the senior Dutt's help to Muslim victims annoyed some.