A new angle has come to light in the 2012 brawl case involving Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan and a South African businessman at a top Mumbai hotel. It has now emerged that actor-sisters Kareena and Karisma Kapoor did not depose before police despite being present at the time of the incident.
"The statements of Kareena Kapoor and her sister Karisma 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," said a police officer.
Hence, the chargesheet filed in December 2012 did not have the statements of the Kapoor sisters, he said.
"I have learnt the two (Kareena and Karisma) were not keen to depose (before the police). The two were not prime witnesses and hence their statements might not have been recorded," said Additional Commissioner of Police (South Region) Krishna Prakash on Thursday.
At the time of the scuffle, Prakash was not in-charge of Mumbai' South Region, where the brawl took place in February 2012. Legal experts found fault with police's approach with regard to the celebrity sisters.
Noted lawyer Abha Singh said, "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 allegedly assaulted the South-Africa based businessman Iqbal Mir Sharma and his father-in-law at a luxury hotel in South Mumbai's Colaba. Ten months later, police filed a chargesheet against the filmstar and his two friends.
Saif and his friends -- Shakeel Ladak and Bilal Amrohi -- were charged under IPC Section 325 (assault). Statements of 29 people were also attached to the chargesheet. After the brawl, Saif and his two friends were arrested on a complaint filed by Sharma. The trio was later released on bail.
The 44-year-old actor was in company of his wife Kareena, Karishma, family friends Malaika Arora Khan, Amrita Arora and a few male friends at the time of the incident.
According to police, when Sharma protested the raucous chatter of the actor and his friends, Saif allegedly threatened them and subsequently punched Sharma in the nose, fracturing it. The NRI businessman also accused Saif and his friends of hitting his father-in-law Raman Patel.
However, Saif had maintained Sharma used abusive language against the women accompanying him and this led to the scuffle.