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Daler Mehndi's appeal against his sentence dismissed, goes to jail

CHANDIGARH, July 14: The Punjabi pop icon Daler Mehndi's appeal against his sentence was dismissed by the Patiala district court on Thursday. A lower court had in 2018 sentenced him to undergo two years' jail term in a two-decade old human trafficking case.

Daler Mehndi and his brother Shamsher Mehndi were accused of illegally sending people abroad by showing them as troupe members to help them migrate to the US and Canada, after taking 'passage money' from the victims. The complaint referred to instances of 1998 and 1999. The complainant, one Bakshish Singh, in his FIR of 2003 alleged they took money from him but didn't send him to Canada as promised. A total of 31 cases were filed against Daler Mehndi and his brother. Co-accused Shamsher Singh died in 2017.

In 2018, Daler Mehndi was sentenced to two years in jail and a fine of Rs 1,000 by a lower court. He was granted bail and went in appeal. The lower court had held Mehndi guilty under Sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

Patiala Additional district and sessions judge HS Grewal on Thursday dismissed the appeal and upheld the lower court's verdict of sentence and sent him to jail.

Daler Mehndi and former Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu are in the same barrack in the Patiala jail which has has six ‘VIP’ inmates. The others are former Punjab Minister Bikram Majithia, death row convict Balwant Singh Rajoana, arrested IAS officer Sanjay Popli and former Congress Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot’s OSD Chamkaur Singh.

Daler Mehndi had performed at the first-ever Indian Metaverse Concert on the 73rd Republic Day on January 26, 2022. Mehndi thus joins the line of international musicians like Travis Scott, Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande.

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