PATIALA: Popular singer Daler Singh, better known as Daler Mehndi, was convicted in a human trafficking case by a Patiala court in Punjab and sentenced to two years in jail on Friday. The singer was taken into custody by the Punjab Police after his conviction but was soon granted bail.
A case against Mehndi, his brother Shamsher and some of his associates, was registered by the Patiala police following a complaint filed by one Bakshish Singh of Balbehra village in Punjab in 2003. The complainant had alleged that he had been duped by the Mehndi brothers who received lakhs of rupees from him on the pretext of sending him abroad as a member of the troupe of Daler Mehndi. The Punjabi pop singer was arrested after the case was registered but was released on bail after a few days.
Shamsher died in October 2017 after suffering from jaundice. Shamsher was a part of brother Daler Mehndi's troupe and performed at several stage shows. He was also a songwriter and record producer. After the case was registered, several others had also come forward with similar complaints against the two brothers.
Earlier, the court had dismissed two discharge petitions filed by the police in favour of the singer and ordered the police to file a fresh challan against Mehndi. The first discharge petition was filed in February 2006 stating that Mehndi should be discharged of all the charges as he had been found to be innocent in the case.
This petition was rejected by the court, which had then upheld that there was sufficient evidence on the judicial file against Mehndi and the police should prosecute the case. Following this, the police again moved another discharge application in the court of Singh. However, this court also rejected the second application and ordered the police to file a fresh challan against Mehndi.