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1st witness in assault case against Saif to depose next month

The first witness — the complainant — in the case of assault against Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan related to fracas at a five-star hotel here in 2012 will depose next month before the local magistrate’s court.

“Iqbal Sharma, the complainant, will depose next month,” said Public Prosecutor Wajid Sheikh.

The court allowed the exemption application filed by the actor but said he must be present at the next date.

“Court allowed the application for exemption from appearance saying that it was the last time. The lawyer was directed to keep Khan present next time,” Sheikh told PTI.

Khan and his two friends — Bilal Amrohi and Shakkel Ladak — were arrested following a complaint filed by the businessman Iqbal Mir Sharma after an alleged fight at Wasabi restaurant at Taj Hotel on February 22, 2012. They were later released on bail.

The court had on March 13 last year framed the charges against the three under sections 325 (assault) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. All the three pleaded innocence.

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 of the incident.

According to the police, when Sharma protested the raucous chatter of the actor and his friends, Saif allegedly threatened them and punched Sharma on 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.

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