One of the top paid actors of Bollywood and a role model to millions, Saif Ali Khan might have got himself into a big mess. Mumbai police Wednesday registered a case against the actor under section 325 of the IPC for allegedly assaulting a patron of the Taj Mahal Hotel in south Mumbai.
The actor was arrested and later released on bail, after African business man Iqbal Sharma lodged a case against him and claimed that the actor fractured his nose. However, the actor filed a counter against the NRI businessman and said that he did so only after he had been attacked first.
Both the actor and the businessman have their own versions of what happened Tuesday night.
Here are the two different versions of the same incident.
Iqbal Mir Sharma's Version of the Story
A furious Iqbal Mir Sharma seemed to be in no mood to forgive the actor for his Tuesday's act when he told DNA newspaper: The time to forgive Saif (Ali Khan) is over. Now, the law has to take its own course.
Sharma, who is an executive chairman of the ISSAR and his father-in-law Dr Raman Patel (both South Africa-based non-resident Indian), accused Saif Ali Khan of manhandling them during a dinner at Hotel Taj. According to Sharma, all that he wanted from Khan was to keep it low.
Sharma said, We complained to the hotel management three times about the noise being raised at the neighboring table. But, no action was taken. So, we decided to shift to the ground floor.
According to Sharma, he and his family were quietly moving away but it was Khan who walked up to them, abused them, starting the brawl first. He said I was being a spoilsport and taunted me by saying I should dine at the library if I wanted silence, Sharma said.
Apparently, Khan threatened to kill Sharma and he, along with his aides, started punching Sharma on his nose and fractured it.
Khan was accompanied by two women. They were believed to be girlfriend Kareena Kapoor and her sister Karishma Kapoor. Sharma had no idea who they were. I didn't know who they were till I learned about it on Wednesday from the media, adds Sharma.
It seems that Khan and his aides also allegedly beat up Patel when he intervened and tried to save his son-in-law.
According to Sharma, no one, including the hotel staff, came forward to help them. While Sharma and his father-in-law were leaving the hotel, an accomplice of Khan, later identified as Shakeel Ladakhi, punched 69-year-old Patel and left him bleeding, said Patel.
Patel has had a bypass surgery recently and is also suffering from lung problems.
The incident shows the value system to which he belongs. He showed no respect for a senior citizen. He has set a very bad example to society as a celebrity and a role model, Patel was quoted as saying by DNA.
Saif Ali Khan's Version of the Incident:
In Saif Ali Khan's complaint, he has alleged that it was Sharma's father-in-law who punched him first and Khan's reaction was just in his own defense.
He accused Sharma and Patel of abusing the women who accompanied Khan to the hotel.
According to an NDTV report, Khan was accompanied by Kareena Kapoor, Karishma Kapoor, actress Amrita Arora, her husband Shakeel Ladak and producer Bilal Amrohi.
In his complaint, Kahn said that he had a swollen eye after receiving a punch and his friends Amrohi and Ladak too had bruises.
Saif was provoked after women at the table were abused. Filthy language was used by Mr Sharma, Khan's lawyer Mohan Jaykar was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Police Yet to Take a Decision
Police are yet to decide if it is a cognizable offence and have not given a clean chit to either Khan or Sharma. They said they were checking the CCTV footage of the hotel, but then the fight took place at the staircase and the CCTV has not captured the fight.
A senior police official added that the statements of Kareena Kapoor and Amrita Arora will be recorded.
Saif Ali Khan was granted bail and left the police station Wednesday after paying Rs 15,000.
In a statement released to the press, Khan said: I don't think any gentleman would have behaved differently. The CCTV footage in the restaurant will prove everything.
Who is saying the truth and who is bluffing is something that is difficult to judge at the moment. Further investigation might reveal who made the first move.
Saif's home production movie Agent Vinod is set to be released March 23. The movie features actress Kareena Kapoor.