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Oxygen concentrators hoarder Navneet Kalra gets bail

New Delhi: A Delhi Court on Saturday granted bail to businessman and restauranter Navneet Kalra who has been arrested by the Delhi police for allegedly hoarding oxygen concentrators illegally and selling them at exorbitant prices.

The court granted bail to Kalra subject to furnishing of a personal bond of two sureties each of Rs 1 lakh, not to contact the customers to whom he had sold the concentrators, not to tamper with evidence or influence the witnesses and that he will join the investigation whenever required, LiveLaw reported.

During the bail hearing, prosecutor Atul Shrivastava told the court that Kalra has cheated and induced people to buy substandard quality oxygen concentrators in the guise of being “German-made” and thereby making huge profits.

The prosecutor alleged that the airflow from concentrators was so low that it can’t even support a single patient.

On comparison of Kalra’s case with actor Salam Khan who too has bought oxygen concentrators in large numbers, the prosecutor stated that the actor did not sell it at high prices.

On Friday, the Court had heard the submissions made by Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa, representing Kalra, where he argued that the Delhi Police has no jurisdiction to investigate or to arrest his client pertaining to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

He cast a comparison between the price of oxygen concentrators that were sold by him with those being sold at e-commerce Amazon and India Mart.

“Admittedly, the oxygen Concentrators of the same make are available on Amazon and India Mart at 95,000 and 89,000 respectively whereas I’m selling them for 60,000.” Pahwa submitted.

On the allegations of the products being of sub-standard quality, Pahwa questioned, “If the products were substandard, would the Delhi Police have given the same to Covid Care Centres?

The Delhi Police had registered a case under sections 420 (cheating and dishonesty),188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant),120B(criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable),34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 (power to control production, distribution and supplies of essential commodities, and sec 7 (recovery) of the Essential Commodity Act 1955.

Last month, over 500 oxygen concentrators were recovered from several restaurants, including the famous Khan Chacha in Khan Market of Delhi, owned by Kalra.

The businessman was nabbed from Gurugram on May 16 and arrested on the next day. Police claimed the concentrators were imported from China and were being sold at an exorbitant price of Rs 50,000 to 70,000 apiece against its cost of Rs 16,000 to Rs 22,000.

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