Saif Ali Khan's arrest "inevitable" in hotel brawl

Last Updated: Feb 22, 2012, 18:45 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: Post the slapgate and the much hyped drama between Shirish Kunder and Shah Rukh Khan, another Khan is in the news for wrong reasons. This time round it is none other than the suave Nawab of Pataudi, Saif Ali Khan.

The ‘Love Aaj Kal’ star was involved in a scuffle on Tuesday night at the Taj Palace in Colaba in Mumbai.

The actor allegedly got into an argument with an NRI businessman called Iqbal Sharma.

According to sources, Saif was in the hotel for dinner with his friends when the incident took place. Saif was part of a big group which also included his girlfriend, actress Kareena Kapoor.

Apparently, Iqbal was also having dinner with his family at an adjoining table next to Saif. And when Iqbal complained about the noise that was coming from Saif’s table, a scuffle started between them as Saif, reportedly, told him to go to a library to find peace.

A few sections of the media also reported that the scuffle actually took place between Amrita Arora Ladak’s husband Shakeel Ladak. It was only when Saif intervened that he got into the brawl with Iqbal.

Sources also said that that there was a huge altercation before a full blown out fight. Sheikh alleged that Saif punched him in the nose. Security guards intervened to stop the quarrel.

On Wednesday early morning, Iqbal went and lodged a complaint against the actor and two others at the Colaba police station.

An FIR has been registered against Saif and his friends under sections 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intent) of IPC. Cops are looking for him, but the actor is "unreachable".

"His (Saif's) arrest is inevitable as it is a cognizable offence, but it is bailable," Assistant Commisssioner of Police Iqbal Shaikh said, adding the actor can be enlarged on bail by the police and will not have to approach the court for it.

However, Saif will have to surrender and be arrested before the bail is granted.

"The section under which he has been booked is bailable. He has to come with a surety and if we find that the surety is a sound surety, we will grant him bail," the ACP said.

Shaikh said that the complainant went to the G T Hospital following the incident and then reported the matter to the police around 2.30 this morning.

Meanwhile, talking to the media, complainant Iqbal Sharma said Saif not only assaulted and hurled verbal abuses at him him but also his father-in-law.

ACP Shaikh said a police team was dispatched to the actor's Bandra residence but he was not present there and his mobile phone was also switched off.

Asked if Saif was absconding, Shaikh said, "He is not reachable."

He denied that any of the women accompanying either the actor or the complainant had participated in the scuffle.

On whether Saif had himself assaulted the complainant, Shaikh said, "This is what the complainant has said. We are in the process of recording the statements of independent witnesses."

Saif was with Kareena, her sister Karisma, actor Arbaaz Khan's wife Malaika Arora Khan, her sister Amrita Arora and some other male friends, who are yet to be identified. The complainant was with his wife, mother, father and two others.

Shaikh said the statements of eight witnesses have been recorded and footage of the CCTV cameras was being scanned as part of the ongoing investigation.

The actor was earlier booked in 2008 for assaulting a photojournalist in Patiala during the shooting of a film. The actor had to later apologise and the case was resolved amicably.

Saif’s home production ‘Agent Vinod’ is all set for release this March. The film stars Saif and Kareena in the lead roles. Although the film is already garnering much attention, a case of assault on the leading hero may just notch up the curiosity level on the film higher.

(With PTI inputs)