Daler Mehndi was convicted in a human trafficking case by
a Patiala court in Punjab on Friday and sentenced to two years in
jail. The singer was taken into custody by the Punjab Police soon after his
Daler and his brother, Shamsher Singh, had been accused of illegally sending people abroad disguised as members of his troupe by charging hefty “passage money”. It had been alleged that the Mehndi brothers had taken two troupes in 1998 and 1999 during the course of which 10 people were taken to the US as group members and were “dropped off” illegally.
Daler, on a trip to the US in the company of an actress
had allegedly “dropped off” three girls in San Francisco.
Both brothers took another troupe to the US in October 1999 in the company of some other actors during which three boys were “dropped off” in New Jersey.
Soon after the Patiala police registered a case against Daler and Shamsher on a complaint filed by one Bakshish Singh. As many as 35 more complaints came up levelling charges of fraud against the two brothers.
Daler Mehndi With Brother Mika Singh
The complaints had alleged that the brothers had taken “passage money” from them to help them migrate to the US “illegally”, but had failed to do so.
The Patiala police had even raided the offices of Daler Mehndi at Connaught Place in New Delhi and seized documents, including the case file of those who had paid the alleged “passage money” to the Mehndi brothers.
In 2006, the Patiala police filed two discharge petitions stating Daler Mehndi to be innocent, but the court had upheld that the singer be prosecuted as there was “sufficient evidence against him on the judicial file and scope for further investigation”.
Image Source: Manav Manglani