New Delhi, December 20
Punjabi pop star Daler Mehndi, apprehended by the Delhi police from the posh Vasant Kunj locality here yesterday after he had allegedly remained underground for nearly two months, was today handed over to the Punjab police on a day’s transit remand by a city court.
Mehndi is wanted by the Punjab police in connection with a human trafficking case.
Rejecting the bail petition of the pop star, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Reema Singh Nag directed the Punjab police to produce him before the trial court at Patiala tomorrow.
Mehndi had earlier appeared before the Punjab police for two days on October 27 and 28 as per the directions of the Delhi High Court when it had granted him 10 days’ interim bail on October 23 to ensure that he cooperated with the police investigating the case.
He was produced amidst tight security before the CMM, who held the proceedings in her chamber in-camera, not allowing the mediapersons in.
His counsel D. K. Garg, after coming out of the chamber of the CMM, told reporters that he had moved an application for the bail of Mehndi and also questioned the jurisdiction of the Delhi police to take him into custody without any legal proceedings to this effect by the Punjab police.
However, Punjab’s Additional Advocate-General (AAG) Atul Nanda said their stand before the court was that Mehndi was an accused in the case, of which a Patiala court had already taken cognisance and issued non-bailable warrants against him.
Since the alleged charge against him fell in the category of a cognisable offence, there was no necessity of fresh warrants from a Delhi court against him as the Punjab police was only seeking his transit remand, Mr Nanda said.
The Delhi police had apprehended Mehndi yesterday soon after the Supreme Court declined to grant anticipatory bail and directed him to surrender before the trial court on January 8.
The apex court had kept Mehndi’s bail petition pending only after an assurance by his counsel that the pop star would positively surrender before the trial court on January 8.
It had also directed the Punjab police to provide protection to Mehndi as per the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s order while it had rejected his bail petition last month.
Daler brought to Patiala
Patiala, December 20
Pop star Daler Mehndi was brought to the city late tonight and was driven directly to Sadar Police Station, where he would be kept before being presented in court tomorrow.
Daler reached Sadar Police Station around 11.20 pm in a Swaraj Mazda mini-bus of the police along with a city police team, comprising Superintendent of Police (City) R.L. Monga and Deputy Superintendent of Police (Rural) Bhupinder Singh.
Talking to TNS outside the police station, Daler said a lot had been written about the human trafficking case against him and he did not want to add anything more to it. He said he did not want to comment on the case at this juncture. Daler was attired in his trademark pink be jewelled turban.
Mr Monga said the Patiala police was able to procure the transit remand of the pop star from the Metropolitan Magistrate in Delhi around 3 pm, but the pop star was handed over to the team around 4.30 pm. Following which the police party set off for Patiala. Fog and low visibility conditions further delayed the team.
Sources said, as tomorrow is a Sunday the pop star would be presented before a Duty Magistrate tomorrow afternoon with regard to the non-bailable warrants issued against him in the human trafficking case.
The Patiala police was likely to demand his police remand so that he could be questioned about his alleged role in leaving people abroad after taking them as members of his troupe, besides other allegations.
Earlier, Delar’s brother Shamsher Mehndi had been remanded in police custody in the same case for the maximum number of 14 days. Shamsher is presently in judicial custody. The court had already rejected the anticipatory bail applications of other accused, including Balwinder Kaur, wife of Shamsher, and Bul Bul Mehta, who claims he is a business associate of the Mehndi brothers.