Court suspends two-year jail term awarded to Daler Mehndi in 2003 human trafficking case

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Patiala: The Court of the Additional District and Sessions Judge Rajeev Kalra on March 30 suspended the two-year jail term awarded to pop singer Daler Mehndi in the infamous 2003 human trafficking case after admitted an appeal moved by his defence counsel challenging the conviction.
The court summoned all the records pertaining to the case and fixed May 18 as the next date of hearing. It also granted bail to the pop-singer still the disposal of the case and asked him to furnish a Rs 50,000 bail bond to the satisfaction of the duty magistrate.Defense counsel for the pop-singer Brijinder Singh Sodhi said they had filed the appeal before the appellant court on Wednesday and it was taken up for the hearing on Friday. He said the court admitted the plea for the argument while suspending the two-year sentence awarded to Daler Mehndi.
After being convicted and sentenced to two years in prison by the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class Nidhi Saini on March 16, on Daler Mehndi had been granted bail by the trial court for the filing of the appeal in the higher court.
He had been found guilty under sections of 420 (Cheating) and 120-B (Criminal conspiracy). The Police had registered the case in 2003 on the complaint of Bakshish Singh of Punjab’s Balbehra village who accused Daler and his brother Shamsher Singh, who died last year, of reneging on their promise of sending him abroad and not returning his money.
It was alleged that Mehndi, his brother Shamsher and others had duped several people with the promise of relocating them to the US, by charging them hefty sums. They had been accused of providing illegal passage abroad to people by passing them off as members of the singer’s troupe. Mehndi brothers had taken two troupes to the US in 1998 and 1999 and illegally “dropped off” about 10 people there. On one trip to the US, Daler had allegedly “dropped off” three girls from Gujarat in San Francisco while in October 1999, they “dropped off” three boys in New Jersey.
Daler was arrested by the police in October 2003 along with Shamsher. Following this, 35 more complaints of fraud were filed against the brothers and cops registered 31 cases.

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