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Sanjay Dutt asserts he will complete his films, says he respects the judicial system

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NEW DELHI: Even as Press Council of India Chairman Markanday Katju has appealed to the Maharashtra Governor to K Sankarnarayanan to grant parole to Sanjay Dutt and the Union Government feels the ball is in the Governor‘s court if he receives an appeal, the actor himself has said "I have always respected the judicial system and will continue to do so, even with tears in my eyes."

In a statement, Dutt who has been held guilty of being in possession of arms said "I have already suffered for 20 years and been in jail for 18 months. If they want me to suffer more I have to be strong. I am heartbroken because today along with me, my three children and my wife and my family will undergo the punishment."

He said he was going to complete all his films and would not let anyone down.

"I am overwhelmed by the support of my fans the industry people, the media and all the well wishers. They have always stood by me and supported me. I know in my heart that I have always been a good human being, respected the system and always been loyal to my country."

He added, "My family is very emotional right now and I have to be strong for them. I am shattered and in emotional distress. I am sorry I can‘t come down and meet you all. God is great and he will guide me through this."

Law Minister Ashwani Kumar indicated that the matter will be looked into and an "appropriate" decision taken once such a plea is made by the actor. "The Governor will use his discretionary power when there will be an appeal to him. He has the power to pardon. We should not comment on it," he said.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the authorities will take cognisance of the matter at the appropriate level.

"Justice Katju has been a very eminent judge of the Supreme Court. Whenever he articulates a position on an issue, people both inside and outside the government listen to it carefully," Tewari told reporters outside Parliament.

"But there are various aspects to the issue and I am sure that those people within government whether at the state government or level of various other instrumentalities of government, who are seized with the responsibility of dealing with the issue, take the cognizance of the statement and then, if required, formulate an appropriate response and then come back," he added.

In a letter to Maharashtra Governor, Justice Katju sought pardon for Dutt, whose six years sentence was reduced to five years by the Supreme Court in an arms case related to the 1993 Bombay blasts.

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