Subhash Ghai on Sanjay Dutt’s arrest: 29 years after Sanjay Dutt was arrested in the 1993 Mumbai serial blast case, filmmaker Subhash Ghai has said he always believed in the actor’s innocence. The director was speaking in the light of his film, Khalnayak, which had been released at the same as Dutt’s arrest. In an interview with an entertainment portal, Ghai said he had seen Dutt since childhood and he always knew that he couldn’t be a criminal.
The popular filmmaker added that Sanjay Dutt was trapped at that time and he knew about it. Bollywood Hungama quoted him as saying, “I have known Sanjay Dutt ever since he was a kid. I directed his second film, Vidhaata. Then after 10 years, I cast him in Khalnayak. I knew him really closely. When he was arrested I knew he was innocent but was trapped. He was not a criminal.”
Dutt was first arrested in April 1993 while Khalnayak was released in June the same year. Ghai said he just didn’t promote his film at that time because he didn’t want to look like cashing on the entire controversy around Sanjay Dutt’s life. Mentioning the entire uproar and political setback that he had faced due to Dutt’s presence in his film, he said, “I did not spend a single rupee to promote Khalnayak. I stayed silent. There was such a furore over Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai, 32 political units were against me, there were court cases against me. But I stayed quiet. I knew what film I had made, I knew what Sanjay Dutt was, I knew what Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai was.”
Khalnayak that also featured Madhuri Dixit, and Jackie Shroff in important roles went on to become one of the biggest hits of the year and swept away most leading nominations at the Box Office. For the unversed, Dutt was arrested in 1993 under TADA and the Arms Act for his role in the Mumbai serial blasts. In 2006, the TADA court found him guilty under Arms Act but acquitted in under TADA. In July 2008, he was convicted and sentenced to a six-year jail term. In February 2016, he finally completed his jail term in the case.