New twist in Saif Ali Khan and NRI Iqbal Sharma's brawl case

In a new development in the 2012 brawl case against actor Saif Ali Khan and his two friends, it has now come to light that Kareena and Karishma Kapoor saw the entire incident on the night in question, but were reluctant to make any statement to the police. “The statements of Kareena Kapoor and her sister Karishma were not recorded in connection with the Saif brawl case. We tried to persuade the duo, who was present at the spot, but they were not forthcoming about recording their statements over the incident,” reported a police officer.

On the night of 22nd February, 2012, Saif Ali Khan was at the Wasabi restaurant of the Taj hotel in south Mumbai. He was accompanied by Karishma and Kareena Kapoor, Malaika Aurora Khan, Amrita Aurora and few other male friends. South Africa based businessman Iqbal Mir Sharma was at a nearby table with his father in law Raman Patel. According to Sharma, he had protested against the raucous noise being made by Saif’s party. The actor then threatened and insulted him and finally punched him in the face, breaking his nose. Sharma also accused Saif of hitting his father in law.

Based on the complaints of Sharma, a charge sheet was framed and filed against Saif and his two friends, Shakeel Ladak and Bilal Amrohi under section 325 (assault) of the IPC. The three were arrested but later released on bail. Statements of 29 witnesses were attached to the statement. However, these did not include the statements of Kapoor sisters Kareena and Karishma who were both eye witnesses.

Additional Commissioner of Police (South Region) Krishna Prakash who however was not in charge during February, 2012 said, “I have learnt the two (Kareena and Karishma) were not keen to depose (before the police). The two were not prime witnesses and hence their statements might not have been recorded.”

However, legal experts are far from agreeing with the approach taken by the police. According to Abha Singh, the noted lawyer, “Police have the right to summon witnesses if they are not ready to come forward. In fact, the Kapoor sisters were part of the group that indulged in fighting with the victim and hence they should also have been charged in the case.”

Saif has maintained that Sharma used abusive language and insulted the women in Saif’s party and that was the real cause of the scuffle.