New Delhi, Oct. 23: Daler Mehndi has earned a reprieve with Delhi High Court today granting him interim anticipatory bail for 10 days. This will allow the Bhangra pop star to approach a Patiala court to seek regular bail in a human trafficking case.
Justice S.K. Aggarwal has directed Mehndi to appear before the Patiala court next Monday at 11 am. The Punjab court had issued non-bailable warrants against the singer on October 15.
Aggarwal today directed Mehndi to furnish a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh and a surety of the same amount. He also ordered him to surrender his passport and not leave India without prior court permission. The judge has also asked Mehndi to help Punjab police with their investigations.
The singer had turned to Delhi High Court to seek protection from arrest after an additional district and sessions court here had refused to grant him anticipatory bail.
Mehndi and his elder brother Shamsher Singh Shera have been accused of duping people into parting with large sums of money to travel with the singerís troupe to the US, Canada and other countries. The brothers would then allegedly contrive to let them stay on to try and bag lucrative jobs.
Mehndi maintains he is innocent and not involved with Shamsherís activities. He claims to have disowned his brother in 2001.
Delhi police counsel Anil Soni opposed Mehndiís bail plea today, saying the case against the singer had been registered in Punjab. He said the decision could encourage accused facing arrest in one state to seek bail in another.
Punjab police counsel Atul Nanda accused Mehndiís lawyers of deliberately omitting certain portions from the FIR while translating it from the original Punjabi into English in order to water down the allegations made against him.
Punjab police say they have received 31 human trafficking complaints against Mehndi. As directed by the court on Tuesday, Nanda today filed an affidavit listing all the complaints received against the singer.
R.K. Jain, senior counsel for Mehndi, said all the complaints had been filed after the FIR was registered and no details had been forwarded to him.
Jain added that only one case had been filed against the singer; the rest were mere complaints. He also sought a six-week interim protection for his client. The lawyer added: ďThe whole thing is mala fide. They want to book Daler (Mehndi) for money because they canít get it from Shamsher.Ē
Punjab police have only managed to arrest Mehndiís elder brother. Three other accused ó Rajinder Singh, Surinder Singh and Harcharan Singh ó are still at large.