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Crime and Punishment

Ever since Sanjay Dutt has been sentenced to jail for a 5 year tern our TV anchors have been hosting debates on whether he should be pardoned or not.

Many people feel that Sanjay Dutt should be pardoned because

  • The case is 20 years old and he has already “suffered” the fear of being arrested any time
  • During the last 20 years he has had to ask for Court permission any time he wanted to travel abroad
  • He has already spent 2 years in jail
  • He is not convicted of being a terrorist – only of holding weapons 
  • He had not intended to misuse the weapons
  • He has since his jail term been an exemplary citizen
  • He was a misguided youth who didn’t know the antecedents or intention of the people he was keeping company with
  • His parents have been good citizens and known social workers
  • He has spread the message of Gandhi through his film “Munnabhai
  • He is married with three young children and this will upset his family

Many people feel Sanjay Dutt shouldn’t be pardoned because:

  • A 33 year old is no Spring Chick and should be fully aware of the consequences of his action
  • No one keeps AK 47s in his house just for fun. Especially in a country which requires a gun licence and bearing fire arms is a cognizable offence
  • Sanjay Dutt is a celebrity but he is still accused of an offence and should be treated like any other ordinary citizen

Crime & Punishment are concepts that have many areas of grey. Offences in the past like drinking have now become legal. Similarly with changing social mores child marriage has become illegal while widow marriage is allowed. In our society abortions are legal while in others they are not. So morality, crime and punishment are entirely societal and subjective.

Who then is liable to punishment and who should go off scot free?
If a man is responsible for his actions and is willing to take the credit for his success, shouldn’t he also be able to take the punishment for his wrong doing?
If an 18 year old is fit enough to vote and get married is a 30 year old too young to know the error of his ways?

Personally speaking it was wrong of Sanjay Dutt to keep guns in his house. He was running around with the wrong crowd. He was a spoilt brat.

He may have become a successful film star but that does not exonerate him from his crime and if the court has deemed it fit that he got to jail he should.

Consider the following Jailable offences in India :

  • The simple act of pulling the chain of a running train can land you in jail for 3 months 
  • Exploiting tribals from the Andamans can land you in jail  for upto 7 years
  • A Facebook “like” can land you in jail
  • Disturbing a gathering engaged in religious worship can get you into jail for a year
  • Spreading false rumours with the intention to disturb peace can get you into jail for upto 3 years
These are just some of the offences that are recognised as punishable. If possessing an illegal firearm is a punishable offence, why should Sanjay Dutt not get justice?

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Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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