Patiala, Oct 3 (IANS) A court here Wednesday formally charged famous bhangra-pop singer Daler Mehndi and his brother in a human trafficking case registered against them in 2003.
Daler and his brother Shamsher have been charged with forgery, conspiracy and cheating. The singer was present when the charges were framed.
The framing of charges came despite the police seeking his discharge in the case saying that no evidence had been found against the singer who shot into fame with his number 'Bolo tara ra ra' in the mid 1990s.
The police had earlier also tried to seek his discharge but the court did not allow this on a petition by the complainants.
The singer was arrested by the Punjab police in October 2003 after Shamsher and two others were named in an immigration fraud case - called 'kabootarbaazi' in Punjab.
Complainants Bakshish Singh and others had told police that they had been duped by the Mehndi brothers and others who had promised to help take them abroad.
Bakshish Singh alleged that he and others had paid over Rs.2 million each to the Mehndi brothers for help in immigration to some western country. He claimed that they had promised to make him and others members of his music and dance troupe to take them abroad and help them settle there.
Bakshish Singh said that neither were they taken abroad nor did the brothers return their money.
The singer has been claiming that he was not at all involved in the immigration racket. He pleaded 'not guilty' on Wednesday also.
Mehndi was arrested and virtually stripped inside a police station here October 2003 for a search before being interrogated.ALSO READ: "'Soulmate' challenged me as an artist to explore the depths of human emotions" - Hina Khan