Two years after actor Saif Ali Khan lost his cool and broke the nose of a businessman who asked him to lower his decibel level at a five-star restaurant here, the Esplanade court on Wednesday framed charges against him for assaulting the businessman. Saif, along with two friends, have been charged with voluntarily causing grievous hurt, and common intent.
If proven guilty, they may face imprisonment of up to seven years. Saif Ali Khan and his friends – Bilal Amrohi and Shakeel Ladakh were present before the magistrate here on Wednesday when he read out the charges against them. They pleaded not guilty to the offence.
“They have been charged with section 325 read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code,” public prosecutor Wajeed Sheikh said.
Since the trio pleaded ‘not guilty’, the prosecution will present evidence before the court on the next date to prove the charges. The court will hear the matter next on April 30.
An NRI (Non-Resident Indian) businessman named Iqbal Sharma had registered a complaint against the actor on February 22, 2012 at Colaba police station. He had said that when he had gone to Wasabi, a restaurant in Hotel Taj Mahal at Colaba, the actor was dining there with his wife Kareena Kapoor, sister-in-law Karishma Kapoor, Amrita Arora, Malaika Arora-Khan, and a few male friends.
He said that the group’s conversations turned very loud, prompting him to complain to the hotel’s manager. Mr Sharma was there with his family. When the actor and his friends were told about the complaint, a scuffle broke wherein the actor asked Mr Sharma to go to a library if he wanted peace.
Saif then punched him on the nose. Mr Sharma has alleged that the actor and his friends also manhandled his father-in-law. He then promptly approached the Colaba police, who arrested the actor. Saif was released on bail soon after that. The police investigated the matter and filed a charge sheet in December 2012.