Court suspends Daler Mehndi's jail term in illegal immigration case
In a respite to Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi, a Patiala court today suspended the two-year jail term awarded to him in an illegal immigration case. The decision by the Court of the Additional District and Sessions Judge follows an appeal moved by Mehndi's defense counsel challenging the conviction. Mehndi was sentenced on March 16 and was subsequently granted bail.
Mehndi's defense counsel, Brijinder Singh Sodhi stated that the appeal was filed on Wednesday and was heard today. Along with suspending the jail term, the court has also directed Mehndi to file a Rs. 50,000 bail bond. The court will proceed with the hearing in the matter on May 18.
In the case that dates back to 2003, Mehndi and his brother Shamsher Singh were accused of illegally sending people abroad disguised as members of a dancing troupe and charging a hefty "passage fees" in return. It was alleged that they took two troupes to the USA in 1998 and 1999 during the course of which 10 persons were "dropped off" illegally.