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Justice delayed...but not denied...

I like Sanjay Dutt, as an actor with a strong screen presence. He has done some good films, especially the Munnabhai series.

And yet, when I read about the sentence of 6 years he received yesterday from the TADA court in Mumbai, I felt happy. Finally, an example has been set. That, however rich and well-connected a person is, the same laws would apply.

Sanjay Dutt has committed a criminal act of possessing an AK-56 assualt weapon, and hiding information about anti-social elements. He has also hobnobbed with gangsters Anees and Dawood Ibrahim. As if this is not enough, he apparently made two of his friends do his bidding and store weapons. In any other country with a functioning democracy, he would have faced much harsher punishment, and much earlier. In a totalitarian regime, he may even have been summarily executed for anti-national activities.

But this is India, where the wheels of justice grind ever so slowly. Sanjay is being punished only now, even though his supporters may claim that he has undergone punishment all these years. Well, I don't know..he has been free, and making movies. Yesterday in the court, Sanjay seems to have said that he is 'reformed' now. Good for him.

And I hope this sentence sends out the right message about our legal institutions. True, there are still many cracks in the system. But that is precisely why all right thinking individuals must feel glad about this one example of the system working properly, albeit a bit slow.