ACTOR SAIF Ali Khan has approached the Mumbai sessions court against a lower court’s order that altered the charge against him in the 2012 five-star hotel brawl case. Khan is facing trial before the metropolitan magistrate along with two of his friends for allegedly beating up an NRI, Iqbal Sharma.
While the court had framed charges against Khan in 2013 under Sections 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 34 (common intent) of the Indian Penal Code, four years later in 2016, the prosecution sought an additional charge under IPC Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) be added against the actor for allegedly assaulting Sharma’s relative — Ramanbhai Patel. In March 2017, the magistrate’s court allowed the plea by the police and added the section against Khan.
In Khan’s criminal revision appeal, filed before the sessions court, he has sought that the lower court’s order be set aside. Khan claimed that the charge of having assaulted Patel was added as the original complainant (Sharma) is an NRI and has not turned up to give his evidence. Khan said this “substantiates” his case that Sharma is unwilling to proceed with the matter and therefore the police are trying to “substitute” him with Patel to proceed with the trial.
Khan has further said that Sharma, being the original complainant, did not mention in his statement that Patel was assaulted by him.
“The learned magistrate relied on the contradictory statements of prosecution witness whilst allowing the application of the prosecution…(he) should have considered there is a delay of almost four years on part of the respondent (police) to prefer the application for alteration of charge and as such there are no such findings on ground of delay,” states Khan’s appeal. He has further said that the charge against him was altered without any supportive material on record. Khan added that if the charge is altered for the trial, it would lead to “grave prejudice” to him.