Nearly two years after actor Saif Ali Khan (43) and two others allegedly got into a brawl with an NRI businessman at a five star hotel in South Mumbai, a metropolitan magistrate court on Thursday framed charges and scheduled the case for trial on April 30. Khan and his friends — Bilal Amrohi and Shakeel Ladakh — came to the court on Thursday, where charges were read out to the trio. All three informed the court that they did not want to plead guilty.
“The court will begin the trial on April 30. All three will be tried under Sections 325 and 324 of the Indian Penal Code for voluntarily causing grevious hurt with a common intention,” said public prosecutor Wajid Shaikh.
The case dates back to February 22, 2012, when Iqbal Sharma filed a complaint at the Colaba Police Station that he was assaulted by Khan and his friends.
Sharma’s nose was allegedly injured in the fight. According to the chargesheet, the fight ensued at Wasabi Restaurant at Hotel Taj Mahal, Colaba, after Sharma asked Khan to lower his voice. Khan was with wife and actor Kareena Kapoor, sister-in-law Karisma Kapoor, Malaika Arora and other friends.
The police have attached 29 persons to the list of witnesses, which also includes Khan’s guests and Sharma’s family.
Sharma had allegedly complained to the hotel manager about Khan and his group and had asked the hotel staff to keep the volume under check. When the manager approached Khan, he walked up to Sharma and punched him on the nose.
Sharma has alleged that the actor and his friends also manhandled his father-in-law. Saif had allegedly told Sharma to go to a library if he wanted peace and not come to a restaurant. Sharma immediately approached the Colaba Police Station.
While the police had filed a chargesheet on December 20, 2012, the court had to adjourn the case on several occasions after Khan sought exemption from appearing before the court. He had cited “professional commitments” as a reason, each time.