Saif Ali Khan held for assaulting businessman in hotel,gets bail

Actor Saif Ali Khan and two others were booked for assault and arrested by the Colaba police on Wednesday.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: February 23, 2012 1:15:50 am

Actor Saif Ali Khan (41) and two others were booked for assault and arrested by the Colaba police on Wednesday evening following an alleged scuffle with a guest at the Wasabi Sushi Bar and Grill at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba around 12.30 am.

After several attempts by the police to question him,Saif and the other two accused finally courted arrest at 7.45 pm and were soon released on bail.

Officers of the Colaba police station said Saif was dining with a group of 12 people from the film industry when the scuffle allegedly took place. “Saif was with Kareena Kapoor,Malaika Arora Khan,Amrita Arora and others from the film industry. As the group was very large,they made a lot of noise and disturbed other patrons,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police (Colaba Division) Iqbal Shaikh.

“Iqbal Sharma (44),a South African national of Indian origin,was seated on an adjacent table with six persons. When the noise levels increased,he objected and approached the restaurant authorities. An argument ensued and Saif and two of his friends assaulted Sharma,” he said.

Sharma,a businessman,suffered nose injuries and was rushed to the G T Hospital where doctors said he had a nasal fracture.

A complaint was then lodged against Saif and two others at the Colaba police station under Section 325 (punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 34 (common intent) of the Indian Penal Code. While the police claimed that the identities of the other two were not known,sources revealed they were Bilal Amrohi and Shakeel Ladakh. While Bilal is a restaurateur,Ladakh is Amrita’s husband.

On Wednesday afternoon,a team from the Colaba police station went to Saif’s house in Bandra to take his statement. However,officers were told that he was not at home. “His staff said he had gone out and was unavailable. We tried calling him on his phone but someone else kept answering it and said he was not there,” said an officer,who did not wish to be named.

ACP Shaikh said Saif’s arrest was mandatory. “It is a cognisable offence. The complainant has been injured and has medical certificates from the hospital to prove it. After the arrest,bail proceedings were started,” he said.

Sources revealed Saif had contacted the police through his lawyers and said he would come to the police station by 7 pm. However,he did not reach the police station even by 7.30 pm.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detection) Nisar Tamboli,the official spokesperson for the Mumbai Police,said they are going through the feeds of CCTV cameras at the restaurant. Meanwhile,the hotel refused to comment. “We are studying the material to determine what actually took place. Investigations are on,” said Tamboli.

The complainant in the case,however,told mediapersons that Saif had assaulted him without any visible provocation. “He assaulted me and told me to go to a library if I needed a quiet environment. He also assaulted my father-in-law. I have given the police my statement,” he said.

However,sources close to the actor said the complainant allegedly misbehaved with the group,which led to a heated argument. The brawl that ensued also reportedly left Saif injured.

This is not the first time that Saif has been involved in such an incident. In 2008,a case was filed against him for allegedly assaulting a photojournalist in Patiala during a film shoot. No arrests were made in the case and a compromise was worked out when Saif apologised later.

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