Pop Singer Daler Mehndi was lucky that he wasn’t already in jail. Did you know that he had been out on bail on a human trafficking case that has been going on since past many years. Today, Daler Mehndi’s appeal against a two-year jail term in a 2003 case of human trafficking — for taking people abroad by showing them as his own troupe members — was dismissed by a district court in Patiala and he was immediately taken into custody and arrested.
In the FIR that dates back 19 years, Daler Mehndi and his brother Shamsher Singh, were accused of taking money to illegally send people abroad via the “troupe” route. They were charged under IPC sections for human trafficking and conspiracy, besides the Indian Passport Act. Both got two-year jail terms from a judicial magistrate’s court in 2018 itself, but were released on bail and since then thay have been filing appeals.
Sources say this morning when Daler Mehndi left home for the court hearing, he had no idea that he will be arrested. He thought, like always we will coolly walk back home and continue with his life, but the judge had other plans.
The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge HS Grewal threw out Daler Mehndi’s appeal. Along with this, his petition for bail plea and a request to be released on probation, were also dismissed and so he was immediately taken to the Patiala jail. The only option he now has, is to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court, but this could take a while and the weekend is up next, so there is every possibility that Daler Paaji will spend at least a night or two in jail before the formalities to approach higher court are completed unless they somehow do it tomorrow and the court takes up the hearing on proiority basis which is unlikely and then what are the chances that the higher court indeed lets him off the case or on bail.
Now, this case is really old. It was registered at the Patiala Sadar police station in the early 2000s. It was alleged that the Mehndi brothers took two troupes to the US in 1998 and 1999, during which 10 people were shown as group members but the real reason was to help them illegaly migrate to the United States. This FIR was filed by a man named Bakshish Singh, and then 35 more complaints came up against the brothers, as per reports.
Three years later, the local police filed discharge petitions in the local court, saying that Daler Mehndi was innocent. But the court refused to discharge him, saying there was “sufficient evidence” for further investigation. It took another 12 years for the sentencing, and then about four more years for a decision on the appeal that happened today, the result of which was clearly not in the favour of the Mehndi brothers. The court has upheld his conviction in this illegal immigration racket case and pronounced the order.