Photo Source: ANI
Delhi Court grants bail to Navneet Kalra in oxygen concentrator hoarding case
New Delhi, May 29, 2021 (ANI): A Delhi court on Saturday granted bail to businessman Navneet Karla in connection with a case relating to the alleged hoarding of oxygen concentrators in a restaurant in South Delhi.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg granted bail to Kalra upon conditions and on furnishing of a personal bond and two sureties of Rs. 1 lakh each. Among conditions imposed on Kalra, the court has directed him not to contact the customers to whom he had sold the concentrators and not to tamper with evidence or influence the witnesses and join the investigation whenever required.
During the hearing, public prosecutor Atul Shrivastava pointed out that it is in Kalras' influence that people are not coming forward. Meanwhile, the court noted that prima facie, Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (cheating) and sections 3 and 7 of the Essential Commodities Act can be made out against Kalra which is punishable for up to 7 years.
Delhi Police opposed the bail plea of Kalra in the court. Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa representing Kalra submitted that the concentrator box has all the information about the product. "There is no hide and seek here. The O2 concentrators are having all the information. I have been selling this to all educated people," the lawyer submitted.
On the allegation that substandard product was supplied, Senior Advocate Pahwa said "If the products supplied by my client were of substandard, would the Delhi Police have given the same to CIVID care centers? It is a clear case of high-headedness. It is a clear case of making somebody a scapegoat."
Pahwa also added that Bollywood actor Salman Khan also purchased the same oxygen concentrators. Mentioning the AIIMS report, Shrivastava said, "Oxygen concentrator was neither premium nor of Germany. The concentrator may not be suitable for use of COVID-19 patients. They are useless."
Denying the fact that Kalra was doing charity, Prosecutor Shrivastava submitted that charity is not done for money. "Had he sold it at a cost price, it would have been charity. But they sold it at a much higher price," he pointed out.
The Delhi Court noted that oxygen concentrator has no margins fixed on cost. To this, Shrivastava said that the government has liberalised the policy for 'needy persons' and not for 'greedy persons'.
The prosecutor stated, "Their intention was to cheat and make a profit and this is a white-collar crime. They have also tampered with evidence and other co-accused are not yet to be arrested and police have served them notice."
The prosecutor urged the court to reject Kalra's bail plea. Earlier, the court had dismissed the Delhi Police's plea seeking five days of police custody of Kalra in connection with this case.
Kalra was arrested after Delhi Police has registered a case under various offenses dealing with cheating, disobedience to order promulgated by a public servant, criminal conspiracy, and violating provisions of Essential Commodities Act, 1955 followed by seizing of oxygen concentrators from restaurants in South Delhi.
The police have busted alleged oxygen concentrators' black-marketing racket during a raid and recovered 105 concentrators from two upscale restaurants in the Khan Market area. (ANI)