New Delhi: Delhi Crime Branch arrested Navneet Kalra on Sunday 16th May from his brother’s farmhouse in Gurgaon. He had been absconding ever since his eatery joints were raided by Delhi Police and had recovered over 500 oxygen concentrators which were being sold at an extortionate price. Delhi Police raided 3 places which are all owned by Navneet Kalra VIZ Khan Chacha, Nege & Ju, and Town Hall, the concentrators were being sold at 4-5 times the price. The Delhi Police also believes that Navneet Kalra is the mastermind behind the same as he is the owner of all the restaurants.
Delhi High Court denied anticipatory bail to Navneet Kalra
Navneet Kalra, knowing the kind of fraud he did and how he hoarded oxygen concentrators, knowing he was ethically and morally wrong feared for his arrest and moved to court seeking protection from his arrest. On Thursday 13th May, Additional sessions judge Sandeep Garg dismissed the application and granted no relief to Navneet Kalra.
Vikas Pahwa, Senior Advocate representing the accused Navneet Kalra made submissions in front of the judge and said “when there is no selling price fixed on the oxygen concentrators by the government how can Navneet Kalra be accused of selling them at an extortionate price. Delhi Police is framing him and making him a scapegoat to divert the attention from other issues.”
Senior Advocate, Abhishek Manu Singhvi also appearing for accused Navneet Kalra argued in the court saying “this is a classic case where someone is being framed. He is not a manufacturer neither an importer, he paid for the oxygen concentrators with GST, no hoarding has been done by Navneet Kalra adding that there is no order Under Essential Commodities Act 03 as there was no regulation in terms of fixing the price.”
Advocate Manu Singhvi also argued that Navneet Kalra should not be judged as a criminal.
Navneet Kalra being the owner of the restaurants could be anything but a scapegoat. He was not only hoarding and selling oxygen concentrators but he was also selling oxygen concentrators that could not even meet the adequate requirements of even one person. A report submitted by Shriram Institute for Industrial Research stated that “the average output in terms of oxygen purity is found to be 32.7% and 38.2% and with the laboratory room air the oxygen concentration was not even close to 20.8%.”
Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava opposed the bail plea stating “Kalra’s custodial interrogation is extremely crucial and urged the court to not grant him bail as he is an influential person. Atul Shrivastava also pointed out earlier in front of the Additional Sessions Judge at Saket Court that the whole society is looking at this case, police, and the judiciary. Navneet Kalra had mala fide intentions and would have cheated more people if Delhi Police would not have raided the restaurants.
Shriram Laboratory had two oxygen concentrators in their possession which were given to them for forensic testing after which the report was submitted to the court following which the bail was denied.
The order also stated, Navneet Kalra was collecting payments in advance from people who needed oxygen concentrators and was postponing the delivery telling the customer that the shipment was being delayed for some reason, he increased the prices of the same eventually and did not supply it to several people as well and neither did he refund any money to people he did not supply to.
His account and digital devices should be seized as his phone has incriminating conversations. Court also ordered a custodial investigation to hatch out the entire conspiracy.
Court also observed that the investigation being at the initial stages and is very important for the accused to be present however he was absconding.
Businessman Navneet Kalra, an accused in black marketing of oxygen concentrators has been arrested: Delhi Police sources pic.twitter.com/B1jJ12tujH
— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2021
Navneet Kalra has been sent to 3 days police custody, order passed on 17th May, matter for remand proceeding was heard by Delhi Saket Court.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Saket District Court, Archana Beniwal ordered the custodial interrogation.
The Delhi Police was seeking 5-day custody. Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava told the Saket Court that a 5-day custodial interrogation would be helpful and should be enough to find out the whole truth. Vineet Malhotra who appeared for accused Kalra today argued that since the police already have Kalra’s phone, bills, a custodial interrogation is not required.
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