Chandigarh, September 15
The Punjab and Haryana Supreme Court on Thursday suspended the jail term of Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi, who was convicted by a court in Patiala in a 2003 human trafficking case.
The sole bench of Justice GS Gill suspended the sentence of Mehndi who was sentenced to two years in prison in the case.
Mehndi’s counsel Arshdeep Singh Cheema said the Supreme Court has ordered that the sentence in this case be suspended.
Mehndi had moved the Supreme Court in July after the Patiala Court upheld his two-year sentence, handed down by the court in March 2018 in the human trafficking case.
The singer had filed a Supreme Court review request against his conviction after the judge of the Court of Additional Sessions in Patiala on July 14 rejected his appeal against the court’s 2018 verdict. He was then sent to Patiala Prison.
Patiala police had arrested Mehndi and his brother, Shamsher, who died in 2017, over a complaint filed by one Bakshish Singh. Later, some 35 other complaints came forward containing allegations of fraud against the brothers.
The complainants alleged that the brothers took “passage money” from them to help them illegally migrate to the United States, but they did not. One of the complainants also claimed that the singer had taken money to take him to Canada.
It was also alleged that the Mehndi brothers took two groups in 1998 and 1999, in the course of which 10 individuals were brought to the US as group members and were illegally “deposed”. Mehndi, who was traveling to the US in the company of an actress, reportedly “dropped off” three girls in San Francisco.
The brothers had been to the US with a company in October 1999, accompanied by several other actors, during which three boys were “dropped off” in New Jersey, police said.
Patiala police had raided the singer’s offices in New Delhi’s Connaught Place and seized files of those who had paid the Mehndi brothers passage money.