Punjabi Singer Daler Mehndi has lost his appeal against a two-year jail sentence in a 2003 case of human trafficking, where he smuggled people abroad claiming they were troupe members. The appeal was dismissed by a district court in Patiala today and he was taken into custody.
In the first information report (FIR) filed 19 years ago, Daler Mehndi and his brother Shamsher Singh were accused of taking money to illegally bring people abroad. They were charged under Indian Penal Code's sections for human trafficking and conspiracy besides the Indian Passport Act. Both got two-year jail terms from a judicial magistrate's court in 2018, but were released on bail and filed appeals.
The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge HS Grewal today dismissed Daler Mehndi's appeal. His request to be released on probation and petition for bail were dismissed too and he was taken to the Patiala jail. He has the option to appeal before the Punjab and Haryana High Court now.
The case was registered at the Patiala Sadar police station, alleging that the Mehndi brothers took two groups to the US in 1998 and 1999 to help them migrate, during which 10 people were shown as troupe members. After the initial FIR was filed by a man named Bakshish Singh, who alleged that the brothers had defrauded him, 35 more complaints came up, as per reports.
Three years later, the local police filed discharge petitions in the local court, saying that Daler Mehndi was innocent. But the court refused to discharge him, saying there was “sufficient evidence" for further investigation. It took another 12 years for the sentencing, and now four more for a decision on the appeal.