Human trafficking: Patiala court upholds singer Daler Mehndi's 2-year sentence

Daler Mehndi
Daler Mehndi. Photo: PTI

Patiala: Popular Punjabi singer Daler Mehndi was sent to the Patiala jail on Thursday after a court here upheld the two-year jail term to him in a 2003 human trafficking case.

Mehndi was taken into custody by police as the court also dismissed his application for release on probation, said Gurpreet Singh Bhasin, the counsel for the complainants in the case.

The singer had filed an appeal against his conviction in March 2018 by a lower court, which had sentenced Mehndi to two years in jail and also imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on him. Mehndi was then released on a bail bond.

His appeal against lower court order was dismissed by the court of Additional Session Judge H S Grewal.

After the appeal was dismissed, Mehndi's medical examination was done and he was taken to the Patiala jail.

The singer's counsel, L M Gulati, said they will move the higher court now.

"Unfortunately, the court's verdict is not in our favour and his conviction has been upheld. We will immediately move the higher court and file an appeal. We are very hopeful for justice," said Gulati.

The Patiala police had booked Mehndi and his brother Shamsher Mehndi on a complaint filed by one Bakshish Singh.

Over 30 more complaints, levelling charges of fraud against the brothers, also came up later.

The complainants had alleged that the brothers had taken "passage money" from them to help them migrate to the United States illegally but failed to do so.

The complainants had also alleged that the singer had taken money for taking him to Canada.

It was also alleged that the Mehndi brothers took two troupes in 1998 and 1999 during the course of which 10 persons were taken to the US as group members and "dropped off" illegally.

Mehndi, on a trip to the US in the company of an actress, allegedly "dropped off" three girls in San Francisco.

The brothers had taken a troupe to the US in October, 1999, in the company of some other actors, during which three boys were "dropped off" in New Jersey.

The Patiala police had raided the singer's offices in Connaught Place in New Delhi and seized case files of those who had paid the Mehndi brothers "passage money".

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