Free Press Journal

Court issues summons to SA bizman, kin in Saif assault case


Mumbai: A metropolitan magistrate court here today issued summons to the South African businessman and his father-in-law who were allegedly assaulted by Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan in a city-based hotel in 2012.

“The court has issued summonses to the police to serve on witnesses so that they can depose,” public prosecutor Wajid Sheikh told PTI.

Meanwhile Esplanade magistrate M S Bhodankar today allowed the exemption applications of Khan and his friend Bilal Amrohi in the case.

Sheikh had sought bailable warrants against the two accused for their frequent non-appearance.

“Though the court did not issue any warrant but directed their advocates to keep the accused present before the court on the next date of hearing,” Sheikh said.

While another accused Shakeel Ladak was present in the court today.

The court on March 13 had framed the charges against Khan and his two friends under sections 325 (assault) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. They had pleaded innocence.

The trio was arrested following a complaint filed by the businessman Iqbal Mir Sharma after an alleged fight at the Wasabi restaurant inside Taj Hotel on February 22, 2012. They were later released on bail.

Saif was accompanied by his wife and actor Kareena Kapoor, her sister Karishma Kapoor, Malaika Arora Khan, Amrita Arora and some male friends at the time.

According to police, when Sharma protested the raucous chatter of the actor and his friends, Saif allegedly threatened them and subsequently punched Sharma in the nose, fracturing it. The NRI businessman also accused Saif and his friends of hitting his father-in-law Raman Patel.

Saif on the other hand said that Sharma made provocative statements and used abusive language against the women accompanying him, which led to the ruckus.

The police had filed the charge-sheet on December 21, 2012.