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SC bars Sanjay Dutt from contesting Lok Sabha polls

The Supreme Court has rejected Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt’s plea to contest this year’s Lok Sabha polls. Dutt was to be the Samajwadi Party candidate from Lucknow.

Supreme Court refused to stay his conviction in connection with the 1993 Mumbai blasts case. Dutt was convicted under the Arms Act and sentenced to six years in jail by a TADA court. He is out on bail at present.

“We are not inclined to suspend his conviction,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said, according to PTI.

“It is not a fit case to grant stay of conviction,” the Bench also comprising Justices P Sathasivam and R M Lodha said.

The court said that Dutt was convicted for “serious offence” and 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.

The judges said that the power of the court to suspend the conviction of a person to enable him to contest the elections has to be exercised rarely.

The apex court had on Monday reserved its order after hearing the contentions of the actor and the CBI which is opposing the actor’s plea.

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