If the law is clear that under Section 25 (1 A) of the arms act that after the possession of arms without license, there is a minimum punishment of five year imprisonment, then why a long trial. As I understand the role of a judge is to look for the mitigating circumstances at the time of crime.

The Supreme Court judges did use their discretion while giving the verdict by reducing the sentence of Sanjay Dutt from 6 to 5 years. Making this less than five years was not under the powers of Supreme Court of India.

“Section 25 (1 A) of the Arms Act states that if a person has in his possession a prohibited weapon without a licence, he shall be awarded punishment of not less than 5 years imprisonment and not more than 10 years”.

This mean the judges were convinced that the circumstances were not that he could be labeled as a criminal mentally, or a terrorist or had a link with them. In that case they could have given a sentence of not less than ten years. The very face the court reduced the sentence from 6 to 5 years means the court took a positive and lenient stand in his favor.

Only the President of India or the Governor can grant a pardon.

Article 161 in the constitution ofIndia1949 defines the power of Governor to grant pardons, etc, and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases.  The Governor of a State shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends.

Public is also supreme. The Public elects the government and government elects governors and the President of India. Both the governor and the President of India normally respect the sentiments of the people.

It is easy to say that the law should be equal and everybody should be punished but there are always grounds for a mercy. All of us make mistakes and seek pardon.

Even Bill Clinton was pardoned by the American society. Hanumana was also pardoned by Ravana when he went to Lanka as an envoy of Lord Rama.  He was not killed.

Nanavati was pardoned by the government when he was facing murder charges. Harbhajan Singh was pardoned by the society when he spoke in an abusive manner about Symonds, which was mistaken by the Australian as racial remark and under the cover of racial discrimination remark; his abuse to Symonds was totally forgotten by the community. The society forgave Phoolan Devi and elected her to the Parliament. In our day to day life, we always pardon our children when they use filthy abusive language, tease girls or other such actions.

I personally feel that everybody who wants to change and can show that he has changed should be given a special consideration and under the Constitution, if the case can be filed convincingly before the President of India or the Governor of the State, he or she should be pardoned.

Sanjay Dutt has already been in the jail for over 18 months and now considering that he has totally reformed, one should take it positively. He may be given a suspended sentence under which he may be allowed to live a free life, provided he does not break the Law of the Land for next 3 ½ years for which he is being sentenced. In case he breaks any Law during this period he may be liable to go to prison for the law that he breaks + 3 ½ years.

There are two types of suspended sentences. A judge may unconditionally discharge the defendant of all obligations and restraints. An unconditionally suspended sentence ends the court system’s involvement in the matter, and the defendant has no penalty.

 A Munich court recently handed an 18-month suspended sentence and a 200,000 Euro fine to former ForceIndiadriver Adrian Sutil after he was found guilty of injuring the chief executive of the then Renault Formula One team at a night club inChinalast year.

The purpose of giving punishment is to reform a person and as we all know Sanjay Dutt is already a reformed person so the very purpose of the punishment is defeated if he not pardoned.

This is my personal opinion and Vedic philosophy clearly talks that every personal opinion needs to be respected. Only if my opinion is agreed by 51% of my friends it will be called as a public opinion and 49% may still differ.