The Hindi film industry was reeling on Tuesday afternoon (July 31) following the news of actor Sanjay Dutt's prison sentence on the final day of the on-going Mumbai bomb blasts case.

The judge sentenced the popular 48-year-old actor to six years 'rigorous imprisonment' for possessing arms and ammunition (a 9mm pistol and AK-56 rifle) used in the 1993 Mumbai terror attacks. He had already served 18 months in jail.

The actor had endeared himself to the public with his hit film about a gangster with a heart, Munnabhai MBBS, and the sequel, Lage Raho Munnabhai, which revived Gandhian values.

A senior member of the Indian film fraternity and an A-list star, Dutt is currently involved in the shooting of films with combined budgets of around $25m (Rs1bn), some ofwhich have been placed in jeopardy with the sentencing.

Dutt's next film Dhamaal is complete and scheduled for a September release, and the $5m Mehbooba is expected around November. However, several other productions were banking on a favorable verdict for the actor.

These include Abbas-Mustan's $5m Mr Fraud, which is only 50% complete; Ashtavinayak Films' $6m Kidnap, directed by Sanjay Gadhvi, which is 60% complete, and Sanjay Gupta's $3.7mAlibag, produced by Dutt's own company White Feather Films, which only began shooting this month.

Dutt was also attached to star in the third Munnabhai film, Munnabhai Chale Amerika (Munnabhai Goes To America), and Behaad.

Dutt, son of a former actor and member of parliament, the late Sunil Dutt, and actress mother Nargis, made his debut in 1981 in Rocky at the age of 22. His prominent films include Naam, Khalnayak, Sadak, Vaastav and the Munnabhai movies. His company White Feather Films is credited with films such as Kaante, Musafir, Zinda and the recent hit, Shootout At Lokhandwala.