Dutt in May 2012
|Born||Sanjay Balraj Dutt
29 July 1959
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Other names||Sanju Baba, Deadly Dutt, Munna Bhai|
|Occupation||Film actor, film producer, comedian, politician, television presenter|
|Years active||1972, 1981–present|
|Spouse(s)||Richa Sharma(1987–1996) (deceased)
Rhea Pillai(1998–2005) (divorced)
Manyata Dutt (2008–present)
Sanjay Balraj Dutt (born 29 July 1959) is an Indian film actor, producer and convicted felon known for his work in Hindi cinema. He was briefly associated with politics and is also infamous for felonies committed during 1993 Mumbai blasts. Dutt, son of film actors Sunil Dutt and Nargis Dutt, made his acting debut in 1981. Since then he has acted in some of the most popular Hindi language films. Although Dutt has enjoyed major success in movie genres ranging from romance to comedy, it has been the roles of gangsters, thugs and police officers in films that have won Dutt much adulation, with fans and Indian film critics alike referring to him as the "Deadly Dutt," for his larger-than-life portrayals of such characters.
Dutt was arrested under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) in April 1993, due to terrorist interactions, and illegal possession of a 9mm pistol and an AK-56 assault rifle. After spending 18 months in jail, he was granted bail in April 1995. In July 2007 he was sentenced to six years rigorous imprisonment. The Supreme Court of India, in a judgement on 21 March 2013, convicted Dutt of illegal possession of arms relating to the 1993 Mumbai blasts case and sentenced him to five years imprisonment.
Dutt was born to Hindi film actors Sunil Dutt and Nargis. His mother died in 1981, shortly before his debut film's premiere; her death has been cited as the cause of his drug addictions. He spent five months in prison in late 1982 after being caught in possession of illegal substances. Upon his release he spent two years in the United States, the majority of which was spent in a Texas rehab clinic before returning to India and resuming his career.
Dutt married actress Richa Sharma in 1987. Sharma died of brain tumour in 1996. The couple have a daughter, Trishala, born in 1988, who lives in the United States with her grandparents, following a custody battle with Dutt after the death of his wife. Dutt's second marriage was to model Rhea Pillai in 1998. They divorced in 2005. Dutt married Manyata (born Dilnawaz Sheikh) in 2008 in a private ceremony in Goa, after two years of dating. On 21 October 2010, he became a father to twins, a boy named Shahraan and a girl named Iqra.
As a child actor, Dutt appeared in the 1972 film Reshma Aur Shera, which starred his father; he appears briefly as a qawali singer. Dutt made his Bollywood movie debut with Rocky in 1981. He went on to star in Vidhaata, the highest grossing Hindi film of 1982. In 1985 he shot for his first film in three years, Jaan Ki Baazi. Dutt appeared in successful films such as Main Awara Hoon (1983), Jeeva (1986), Mera Haque (1986), Imaandaar, Inaam Dus Hazaar (1987), Jeete Hain Shaan Se (1987), Mardon Wali Baat (1988), Ilaaka (1989), Hum Bhi Insaan Hain (1989), Kanoon Apna Apna (1989), and Taaqatwar (1989).
The 1986 film Naam was Dutt's first major critical success, earning praise for his sensitive portrayal of lead character Vicky Kapoor. He also received critical acclaim for his performances in Mahesh Bhatt's Kabzaa and J. P. Dutta's 1989 Hathyar. In the late 80s he was seen in a number of films alongside actors like Govinda, Mithun, Dharmendra, Jackie Shroff and Sunny Deol.
His successes continued in the early 1990s, with films that include Tejaa, khatarnak, Zahreelay, Thanedaar, Khoon Ka Karz, Yalgaar, Gumrah, Sahibaan, and Aatish: Feel the Fire. He went on to star in some of the most era-defining Indian films of the 1990s such as Sadak, Saajan (for which he was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award) and Khal Nayak, for which he earned his second Filmfare Best Actor Award nomination. Three weeks before its release, however, in April 1993, he was arrested, charged with involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bombings.
Dutt began 1999 by starring in the Mahesh Bhatt directed hit Kartoos along with Khoobsurat, Daag: The Fire, Haseena Maan Jayegi and the award winning Vaastav: The Reality, for which he won his first Filmfare Best Actor Award. His role in 2000's Mission Kashmir won him critical acclaim and a number of awards and nominations, as did his subsequent performance in Kurukshetra. As the decade went on, he continued to play important roles in popular and critical successes such as Jodi No.1 (2001), Pitaah (2002), Kaante (2002) and the National Award-winning blockbuster Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003), which garnered him several awards. Later successes came with Musafir (2004), Plan (2004), Parineeta (2005) and Dus (2005). He won critical acclaim for his performances in Shabd (2005) and Zinda (2006).
The blockbuster sequel Lage Raho Munna Bhai released in late 2006. He received a number of awards for his performance in the film along with an award from the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his work in the Munna bhai series. In the same year news channel NDTV named him Indian of the Year. Although he was going through a successful time professionally and receiving great acclaim for his performance in Lage Raho Munna Bhai this coincided with the start of the Mumbai bombing's trial. The nation became transfixed with Dutt's court ongoings which saw him found not guilty of terrorism related acts but jailed on two occasions between 2006–2007 for short periods, as he was found guilty 'under the possession of arms act'. He was granted bail enabling him to star in successes like Dhamaal (2007) and Shootout at Lokhandwala (2007). In January 2008, Indian film institute Filmfare listed 12 movies featuring Dutt in its top 100 grossing movies of all time list. He also continued working as an actor although on police bail terms.
Awards and nominations
Bigg Boss 5
Sanjay Dutt co-hosted the fifth session of the Indian reality show Big Boss along with Salman Khan. The show aired on Colors television from 2 October 2011 to 7 January 2012. Later Dutt told, it was Salman Khan who persuaded him to co-host the show.
Super Fight League
Illegal possession of arms
Bombay suffered a series of serial bombings in 1993. Dutt was among several people associated with Bollywood who were accused of involvement and in April 1993 he was arrested under the provisions of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA). Dutt was granted bail by the Supreme Court of India in October 1995 but was re-arrested in December 1995. He was again released on bail in April 1997.
The case came to court in 2006 and Dutt was accused of accepting a delivery of weapons at his house from Abu Salem and co-accused Riyaz Siddiqui, who had also been implicated in relation to the Mumbai blasts. It was claimed that the weapons formed a part of a large consignment of arms connected to the terrorists. The period between 2006–2007 saw Dutt spend seven months in Arthur Road Jail and Pune prison on three occasions for the offences.
Abdul Qayyum Abdul Karim Shaikh, who was thought to be a close aide of the terrorists' ringleader, Dawood Ibrahim, was arrested. Dutt had given Qayuum's name to the police when confessing to arms possession, saying that in September 1992 he had bought a pistol from Qayuum in Dubai.
On 31 July 2007, the TADA court sentenced Dutt to six years' rigorous imprisonment for illegal possession of weapons and cleared him of charges relating to the Mumbai blasts. According to The Guardian, "The actor claimed he feared for his life after the notorious "Black Friday" bombings, which were allegedly staged by Mumbai's Muslim-dominated mafia in retaliation for deadly Hindu-Muslim clashes a few months earlier. But the judge rejected this defence and also refused bail." Dutt was returned to jail at Arthur Road and soon after moved to the Yerwada Central Jail in Pune.
Dutt appealed against the sentence and was granted interim bail on 20 August 2007 until such time as the TADA court provided him with a copy of its judgement. On 22 October 2007 Dutt was back in jail but again applied for bail. On 27 November 2007, Dutt was granted bail by the Supreme Court. On 21 March 2013 the Supreme Court upheld the verdict of the TADA court but shortened the sentence to five years' imprisonment. Dutt was given a month to surrender before the authorities.
Dutt has said that "I am not a politician but I belong to a political family." He was persuaded by a close friend to contest the 2009 Lok Sabha elections as a candidate for the Samajwadi Party but withdrew when the court refused to suspend his conviction. He was then appointed General Secretary of the party, leaving that post in December 2010.
In March 2013, the Supreme Court upheld Dutt's five-year sentence, 18 months of which he already spent in jail during the trial. He was given four weeks to surrender to the authorities, the court having refused to release him on probation due to the severity of the offence.
With analysts believing that his imprisonment would have a significant impact on the fortunes of Bollywood, people from that movie business made statements of support following the ruling and some said that they would be making appeals for him to be pardoned. On 10 May, the Supreme Court rejected Dutt's review petition for the reconsideration of his conviction and asked him to surrender on the stipulated date. On 13 May, the Supreme Court rejected appeals filed by two film producers who were seeking more time for the actor to surrender so that he could complete two of his under-production films. On 14 May, Dutt withdrew the mercy plea and surrendered to the Mumbai Police on 16 May 2013. Just before the surrender the Mumbai jail authority got an anonymous letter threatening Dutt's life. Dutt filed an appeal to allow him to surrender before Yerwada jail. Later, Dutt withdrew this request too. Dutt subsequently surrendered in court as ordered. He was paroled from 21 December 2013. The parole was extended three times until March 2014, raising concern in Mumbai High Court and a proposal from the Government of Maharashtra to amend the law of parole. Currently he is back in Yerwada prison after his parole had ended.
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