India's supreme court bars film star Sanjay Dutt from polls
India's Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who was convicted for involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bombings, cannot contest the upcoming elections, reported dpa.
The court rejected Dutt's plea to suspend his conviction and allow him to contest the general elections that begin on April 16.
"We are not inclined to suspend his conviction ... It is not a fit case to grant stay of conviction," a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan ruled.
Dutt was sentenced to a six-year jail term in July 2007 for obtaining weapons from the conspirators of the 1993 serial bombings.
He was granted bail later and had announced his intention to contest the elections as a candidate for the Samajwadi Party in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
The court said Dutt was disqualified from contesting elections under provisions of the Representation of People Act, that bans a person who is sentenced to two or more years of jail, from contesting elections. Dutt has challenged his conviction at the Supreme Court.
The 49-year-old actor, who often plays the role of a gangster in Hindi films, was the most high-profile defendant among the 100 people convicted in connection with the blasts that killed 257 people.
Dutt's trial was anxiously followed by Bollywood and millions of his fans in India and abroad.
Of the 123 suspects charged in the Mumbai bombings, 100 people, mostly Muslims, were found guilty on charges of conspiracy, smuggling the bombs or planting explosives in cars and scooters in the city.