Punjabi Pop singer Daler Mehndi speaks to the media after he was granted bail, at district court complex in Patiala, Punjab, March 16. Mehndi was convicted in a 2003 human trafficking case. (Press Trust of India)

A court in Patiala, Punjab, sentenced Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi to two-year imprisonment for his role in an immigration scandal in 2003, on March 16.

Daler was held guilty under relevant sections of IPC by the court of Judicial Magistrate first class Judge Nidhi Saini, counsel Gurpreet Singh Bhasin said.

A fine of Rs. 1,000 (About $18) was also imposed on the singer, he said. Daler was, however, released on bail bond.

The Patiala police had booked Daler Mehndi and Shamsher Mehndi on a complaint filed by one Bakshish Singh. Around 35 more complaints levelling charges of fraud against the brothers also came up later.

The complainants had alleged that the Mehndi brothers had taken ‘passage money’ from them to help them migrate to the U.S. illegally, but failed to do so.

Singh alleged that the Punjabi singer had taken money for taking him to Canada.

In this file photo dated December 28, 2003, Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi is seen appearing at the District Court complex in Patiala, Punjab. (Press Trust of India)

It has been alleged that the Mehndi brothers took two troupes in 1998 and 1999 during the course of which 10 persons were taken to the U.S. as group members and “dropped off” illegally.

Daler, on a trip to the U.S. in the company of an actress, had allegedly “dropped off” three girls at San Francisco.

Both brothers had taken another troupe to the U.S. in October, 1999, in the company of some other actors during which three boys were “dropped off” at New Jersey.

The Patiala police had even raided the singer’s offices at Connaught Place in New Delhi and seized case files of those who had paid the Mehndi brothers passage money.