Barely a week before his wedding to actress Kareena Kapoor, actor Saif Ali Khan has been charge-sheeted by the Colaba police for allegedly bashing up a South African diplomat at the Taj Mahal Hotel earlier this year. The actor will now have to appear in court whenever hearings take place.
Saif was arrested by the Colaba police for allegedly thrashing Iqbal Sharma after a quarrel at Wasabi, a restaurant in the South Mumbai hotel, on February 22. He was released on bail after providing a surety of Rs15,000.
The police said the delay in filing the charge sheet was because celebrities involved in the incident were not available to record their statements. Saif was accompanied by girlfriend Kareena Kapoor, her sister Karisma Kapoor, Malaika Arora-Khan, Amrita Arora, Bilal Amrohi and Shakeel Ladak when the incident took place.
“Statements of the hotel staff who witnessed the brawl and those of people accompanying Saif are part of the charge sheet. It has been filed and court orders are awaited. We have provided all the evidence against the actor,” said Vinod Sawant, senior police inspector at the Colaba police station. CCTV footage from Taj will also be used as evidence during the hearings. l Turn to p8
There are chances though that the two parties may opt for an out-of-court settlement. “We will ensure that appropriate action is taken against Saif. However, if the parties choose to go for an out-of-court settlement, they will have to inform the court, not the police,” the investigation officer from the Colaba police station told DNA.
Saif has been booked under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
Sharma, an NRI, was having dinner with his wife at Wasabi when he told Saif and his group not to make too much noise. The request was not taken too kindly by the actor and his friends. What followed was a scuffle between Saif and Sharma, who was allegedly punched in the nose by the actor. He suffered a nasal bone fracture.
Amrohi and Ladak were also arrested by the Colaba police after Sharma filed a police complaint. They were later released on bail.