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Saif charged with brawl

Mumbai, March 13: A Mumbai court today framed charges against Saif Ali Khan and two of his friends for allegedly assaulting an NRI businessman at a restaurant in 2012.

The actor and his friends Bilal Amrohi and Shakeel Ladakh, the husband of actress Amrita Arora, were charged under Section 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and Section 34 (common intention to commit the crime) of the IPC.

The trio were present at the Esplanade court when the charges were read. They have pleaded not guilty, setting the stage for the trial.

The court will hear the matter next on April 30 when the prosecution will present evidence.

The case dates back to February 22, 2012, when Saif, his then girlfriend Kareena Kapoor, her sister Karisma Kapoor, Amrita, her sister Malaika Arora Khan, Ladakh and Amrohi were having dinner at the Wasabi restaurant at Taj Hotel.

Businessman Iqbal Sharma, a South African businessman of Indian origin, and his father-in-law Raman Patel were also dining at the same restaurant.

In his complaint lodged at Colaba police station, Sharma alleged that Saif and those accompanying him were talking loudly. When Sharma objected, a fracas followed after which Saif and his male friends assaulted him.

Sharma, who worked as the deputy director-general of trade and investment in South Africa, said Saif punched him, leaving him with a broken nose, and hit his father-in-law.

Based on the complaint, Saif was arrested and released on a bail of Rs 15,000. The actor maintained that Sharma had made provocative statements and used abusive language towards the women accompanying him, leading to the reaction.