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Why Did Sanjay Dutt Go To Prison?

Sanjay Dutt is one of the most popular and renowned actors in Bollywood. He has delivered several hit films and has a huge fan following. However, in the prime of his career, Sanjay Dutt got entangled in a criminal case that led him to serve a prison sentence. This became one of the most sensational legal cases in India at the time. Let’s take a look at the details around Sanjay Dutt’s arrest and imprisonment.

The Mumbai Blasts Case

In March 1993, India witnessed one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in its history when 13 coordinated bomb explosions took place in Mumbai. These attacks were planned and executed by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his D-Company to take revenge for the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992. Over 250 people lost their lives and more than 700 were injured in these attacks.

Sanjay Dutt’s Connection

During the investigation of the Mumbai blasts case, Sanjay Dutt’s name came up as one of the accused. It was found that Dutt had acquired AK-56 rifles from Dawood Ibrahim’s gang members. An unauthorized possession of weapons like this was a punishable offense under the Arms Act. Dutt admitted that he had acquired the rifles to protect his family during communal tensions in the city. However, owing to his association with the attackers, he became a suspect.

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Dutt’s Arrests & Court Proceedings

In April 1993, Sanjay Dutt was arrested under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA). He was granted bail after spending nearly 16 months in Arthur Road Jail. However, he was arrested again in 1995 for possession of arms and finally released in October 1995.

Over the next few years, the court proceedings continued and testimonies were recorded from various witnesses. Dutt’s associates and family defended him by stating that he was drawn into the situation due to circumstances and did not have terrorist intentions. However, the prosecution demanded conviction under TADA.

Final Verdict & Sentence

In November 2006, nearly 14 years after his initial arrest, the TADA court in Mumbai delivered the final verdict in Sanjay Dutt’s case.

Conviction under Arms Act

The court convicted Sanjay Dutt under the Arms Act and sentenced him to 6 years of rigorous imprisonment. However, he was acquitted of the more serious charges under TADA. The judge stated that Dutt’s possession of weapons was not connected to the Mumbai attacks and he did not have sufficient knowledge about the source.

Surrender & Imprisonment

After the conviction, Sanjay Dutt made several appeals for probation which were rejected by the Supreme Court. Finally, in May 2013 he surrendered before the court to serve the remaining 3.5 years of his prison sentence. Dutt served his term in Pune’s Yerwada Central Jail before getting released in February 2016.

Impact on Sanjay Dutt’s Life & Career

The legal troubles and subsequent imprisonment had a huge impact on Sanjay Dutt’s personal and professional life. Here are some of the major effects:

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He had to withdraw from filming several movies at the peak of his career in the 1990s due to arrests and court proceedings. This caused huge losses to producers.
His family faced intense media scrutiny and societal judgment for their association with the case.
Dutt admitted to substance abuse and struggled with depression and health issues during the period.
He revived his career after release but lost out on 20 prime years of his life due to the sentence.
Despite the controversy, he continues to have a strong fan base and delivered hits like Munnabhai MBBS after his release.
His life inspired a biopic called Sanju starring Ranbir Kapoor which was commercially successful.


Sanjay Dutt’s imprisonment in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case remains one of the most defining and controversial episodes of his life. While the jail term ruined his career temporarily, it did not fully diminish his stardom. Dutt was able to make a comeback after his release and reinvent himself as an actor. However, the legal battle took an immense toll on his personal life and health. The long-drawn case remains a pivotal part of Sanjay Dutt’s history and legacy in Indian cinema.

Frequently Asked Questions

When was Sanjay Dutt arrested in the Mumbai blasts case?

Sanjay Dutt was first arrested in April 1993 under TADA for illegal possession of arms acquired from perpetrators of the 1993 Mumbai blasts.

How much prison sentence did Sanjay Dutt serve?

Sanjay Dutt was initially sentenced to 6 years in prison in 2006. However, he ended up serving around 3.5 years after appeals and time spent in jail during the trial. He was released in February 2016.

Where did Sanjay Dutt serve his prison time?

Sanjay Dutt served his jail sentence primarily in Pune’s Yerwada Central Jail. He spent his final months of imprisonment in Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail before his release.

Did the Mumbai blasts case hurt Sanjay Dutt’s film career?

Yes, Sanjay Dutt’s repeated arrests and court proceedings in the 1990s disrupted several films and caused him to lose out on major projects. The 5-year prison term dealt a huge blow to his career at the peak of his stardom.

Prison Inside Team

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We are dedicated to exploring the intricacies of prison life and justice reform through firsthand experiences and expert insights.

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Welcome to ‘Prison Inside,’ a blog dedicated to shedding light on the often hidden and misunderstood world within correctional facilities. Through firsthand accounts, personal narratives, and insightful reflections, we delve into the lives of those who find themselves behind bars, offering a unique perspective on the challenges, triumphs, and transformations that unfold within the confines of these walls.

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