Almost a decade and a half later, a Patiala Court has convicted Punjabi Pop singer Daler Mehendi in a case involving illegal human trafficking to USA. A case against Mehndi and his brother Shamsher was registered in 2003 by one Bakshish Singh, a resident of Balbehra village in Patiala alleging that he was duped by the Daler Mehendi and his bother Shamsher Singh after they had received Rs 4.50 lakh from him on the pretext of sending him abroad as a member of pop singer’s troupe. Within a short span of time, as many as 35 complaint were filed against the duo levelling charges of alleged fraud under the pretext of accepting large sums of money or ‘passage money’ and helping such people to migrate to the US illegally but had failed to do so. Subsequently, the Patiala Police had 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.

The Patiala Police had also filed discharge applications in 2006 clarifying the innocence of Daler Mehendi but were dismissed by the Court on the grounds that ‘there existed sufficient evidence against him and had scope for further investigation into the allegations levelled against him’. The pop singer was subsequently granted bail immediately after the pronouncement of conviction and shall be appealing to the higher courts challenging the conviction order.

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