The Supreme Court on Tuesday disallowed actor Sanjay Dutt to contest elections from the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat and refused to suspend his conviction in a criminal case.
“We are not inclined to suspend his conviction,” said a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan. “It is not a fit case to grant stay of conviction,” said the Bench, which also comprised Justices P Sathasivam and R M Lodha.
The Court said that Dutt was convicted for “serious offence” under the Arms Act by a Mumbai TADA Court.
The Bench said that the actor’s case could not be equated with that of BJP leader Navjot Singh Sidhu whose conviction and sentence in a road rage case was stayed by the apex court to enable him to contest the Amritsar by-elections in 2007.
The Bench said that Dutt was disqualified from contesting the elections under the Section 8 (3) of the Representation of People Act, which debars a person sentenced to two or more years of imprisonment, from standing for polls.
Sanjay Dutt, who was convicted in arms possession case, had sought Supreme Court’s permission to contest the elections on the ground that the case is still sub-judice. He also tried to list his good conduct in public life to get a reprieve. The Samajwadi Party may field Sanjay’s wife Manyata Dutt from Lucknow Parliamentary constituency.
The Congress, which was yet to decide on a candidate for Lucknow Lok Sabha seat, may go ahead and field a stronger candidate. BJP has already announced Lalji Tandon as its candidate from Lucknow, the seat held by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.