Punjabi popular singer Daler Mehendi has been sentenced to jail but released on bail by Patiala court, a district court under Punjab and Haryana High Court on the immigration scandal case.
Facts of the case
Daler Mehendi was the main accused in the 2003 immigration scandal case. Both Daler Mehendi and his brother Shamsher Mehendi were investigated by the Patiala police on the complaint filed by Bakshish Singh, a resident of Balbehra village, Patiala. Singh had filed a complaint with the Patiala sadar police station way back in 2003 alleging that both the Mehendi brothers had promised to take him to Canada and had failed to do so even though he had paid lakhs of rupees as “passage money.”
The Patiala police upon further investigations found that Bakshish Singh is not the only one who was duped by the Mehendi brothers as more than 35 other complainants came forward. The police had raided the Connaught Place office of Daler Mehendi and seized documents that were a testament to the fraud racket he and his brother were carrying out since late 90s.
The investigators found that Daler Mehendi visited US for a show in 1998 where he took 10 troupe members with him. The brothers then allegedly “dropped off” three girls at San Francisco. The next year Mehendi brothers had visited the US for a show in New Jersey and this time again they “dropped off” three boys from their troupe. The police had arrested Daler Mehendi and his brother Shamsher Mehendi on charges of fraud, immigration scandal, duping people and being involved in illegal human trafficking. The singer was released on bail soon after.
The case has been heard in the court for more than a decade. Both the Mehendi brothers were presented as accused on fraud charges and immigration scandal. The Court heard more than 25 witness testimonies during the trial. One Jaswinder Singh had testified on November 28, 2013 that the singer had taken about 1 crore rupees from him promising to help him reach US but he did not kept his promise and even failed to return the money.
Daler Mehendi accompanied his lawyer Gurpreet Singh Bhasin to attend the court of Judicial Magistrate first class Judge Nidhi Saini yesterday, March 16th. He was convicted on all charges of human trafficking and fraudulent activities and was sentenced to two years of imprisonment. He was also fined Rs. 1000 but he managed to obtain bail and was released on bail bond yesterday. His counsel stated that they would go to higher courts to appeal against this verdict. But in the meantime, after decades of investigations and court dates, the case was finally disposed of in favour of the complainants. The Court passed the guilty verdict against the singer and sentenced him to two years of imprisonment.