Actor Sanjay Dutt on Thursday surrendered before a TADA court here to serve the three and a half years of his remaining sentence for possessing firearms smuggled along with the consignment used in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.
Court officials remained tight-lipped about when will Dutt be shifted to the Yerawada Jail in Pune. The actor had gone to the court apprehending threat to his life and sought to keep the electronic media at bay.
The court, however, turned down his request for permission to smoke inside the jail, but allowed him to have home-made food for a month.
Earlier, the actor, clad in jeans and white kurta, left his Pali Hill residence accompanied by his wife Manyata and filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt.
Despite heavy police presence, there was chaos on the road as scores of photographers and TV cameramen jostled for space. Dutt’s car could not move beyond a few metres and Mahesh Bhatt had to step out of the vehicle to request the cameramen to make way.
Roads leading to the city civil and sessions court in south Mumbai, which also houses the TADA court, were chock-a-block with OB vans of TV channels, policemen and curious onlookers.
At the court, Dutt, whose conviction was upheld recently by the apex court, went through formalities like identification and medical check-up. The entire process took nearly five hours.
In a bid to avoid the electronic media camped outside the court premises, Dutt was whisked out through a side door and taken to the Arthur Road Jail, around 6 km away, in a police van.
Earlier, Dutt sought to surrender directly to the prison authorities on account of “latent threat” to his life. However, the court turned down the plea and refused to take cognisance of an anonymous letter threatening the actor with “physical harm” if he was lodged at the Arthur Road Jail.
In March, the apex court awarded him a five-year jail term. Thereafter, he was given a month’s additional time to surrender.