Mumbai, June 18:
Nearly four years after Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan was involved in a brawl with a South African NRI businessman, a Mumbai court on Thursday referred the case for mediation.
While Saif and the prosecution have agreed to the mediation, the NRI Iqbal M. Sharma’s response is awaited, said public prosecutor Wajid Sheikh.
The court also directed appointment of a mediator between the two parties by the mediation centre attached to the Esplanade Court and the rapprochement matter will now come up on July 27.
Saif and his friends and co-accused, Bilal Amrohi and Shakeel Ladak, were present in the court but Sharma remained absence on account of prior business commitments.
Advocate Girish Kulkarni, representing Saif, said that on the date of mediation, if the two parties fail to conclude and arrive at a settlement, then the next date of trial will be given by the court.
Sharma had lodged the complaint on February 22, 2012, against Saif, Amrohi and Ladak after the trio assaulted him in the Wasabi restaurant in Hotel Taj Mahal.
He had objected to the loud noise made by the actor and his friends and others nearby on the premises following which they assaulted him.
At that time, Saif was accompanied by actresses Kareena Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor, friends Amrita Arora, Malaika Arora-Khan and others, and the actor alleged that Sharma had abused him and his friends.
Saif punched Sharma and fractured his nose and the latter alleged that the actor also assaulted his father-in-law Raman Patel.
Later, the court framed charges pertaining to assault, common intentions but the actor and his friends pleaded innocence.
RTI activist Subhash Agrawal later demanded that the union home ministry take back the Padmashri awarded to Saif in 2010 as the police investigations in the matter was pending for over seven months. (IANS)