Daler Mehndi's two-year imprisonment in human trafficking case stayed by court
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the Patiala Court's decision to imprison singer Daler Mehndi in a 2003 human trafficking case.
Singer Daler Mehndi has been granted relief in the 2003 human trafficking case by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Daler had been sentenced to two-year imprisonment by a Patiala court in that case earlier this year. On Thursday, the High Court stayed that decision. The singer has been lodged in the Patiala Jail since July when his imprisonment verdict had been upheld. Also read: Daler Mehndi sentenced to two-year jail term
According to news agency ANI, “Punjab and Haryana High Court stays the decision of Patiala Court that had sentenced Daler Mehndi to two years of imprisonment in a 2003 human trafficking case.” The singer had been first sentenced to imprisonment in 2018 and also imposed a fine of ₹1,000 on him. He appealed the decision in the court of Additional Session Judge of Patiala, which was denied in July.
At that point, Daler’s legal team had said they would now move High Court in the case. "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," his lawyer LM Gulati had told PTI.
The Patiala Police had originally booked Daler and his brother Shamsher Mehndi based on a complaint filed by one Bakshish Singh. Later, 30 more complaints were filed against the brothers, alleging that they had taken ‘passage money’ from people promising to help them migrate to the United States but eventually reneged on their promise. Allegations were also made that the brothers had taken people in 1998 and 1999 to Canada as part of their groups and ‘dropped off’ illegally.
As per the complaints, Daler would take people to US and Canada as part of the members of his troupe when he travelled to these countries for concerts and then leave them there illegally. In 2003, 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 brothers the alleged passage money. Daler has denied these allegations.