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March 14:

Mumbai Two years after Saif Ali Khan allegedly assaulted a South-Africa-based businessman and his father-in-law at a Mumbai hotel, a local court yesterday framed charges against the actor and his two friends, Shakeel Ladak and Bilal Amrohi, under Section 325 (assault) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, public prosecutor Wajeed Sheikh said.

However, the trio pleaded not guilty after the metropolitan court read out the charges to them. Saif and his friends had been arrested following a complaint filed by NRI businessman Iqbal Mir Sharma after the two allegedly got into a fight at the Taj Hotel on February 22, 2012. The trio was later released on bail.

The 42-year-old actor was accompanied by his wife Kareena Kapoor, sister-in-law Karishma Kapoor, their friends Malaika Arora Khan and her sister Amrita Arora and some male friends when the brawl broke out.

According to police, when Sharma protested to 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 had also accused Saif and his friends of hitting his father-in-law Raman Patel. Saif had maintained that Sharma made provocative statements and used abusive language against the women accompanying him and this led to the ruckus. The police had filed a charge sheet against the trio on December 21, 2012.

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