In a shocking turn of events, Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi has been convicted in a 2003 human trafficking case by a court in Patiala. He has been sentenced to two years of imprisonment. However, he was granted bail by the court shortly after.
Daler and his brother, Shamsher Singh, had been accused of illegally sending people abroad disguised as members of his troupe by charging hefty "passage money."
In 2003, a case against Mehndi, his brother Shamsher and some of his associates was registered by the Patiala police following a complaint filed by Bakshish Singh of Balbehra village in Punjab in 2003. The complainant had alleged that he had been duped by the Mehndi brothers who received lakhs of rupees from him on the pretext of sending him abroad as a member of the troupe of Daler Mehndi. Shamsher passed away October 2017.
After the case was registered more complaints came up levelling charges of fraud against the two brothers.
As per a Hindustan Times report, the Patiala Police had even raided the offices of Daler Mehndi at Connaught Place in New Delhi and seized documents, including the case file of those who had paid the alleged "passage money" to Mehndi brothers.
In 2006, Patiala Police filed two discharge petitions stating Daler Mehndi to be innocent, but the court had upheld that the singer be prosecuted as there was "sufficient evidence against him on the judicial file and scope for further investigation".
Daler Mehndi is popular for his tracks which include chartbusters like 'Bolo Ta Ra Ra' and 'Na Na Na Re'.