Navneet Kalra says “ Police have also got concentrators from me”
A Delhi court of Saturday dismissed the plea by Delhi Police for the police custody of businessperson Navneet Kalra in the oxygen concentrators black marketing case, in the Khan Market. He is accused of hoarding 7000 oxygen concentrators, which were been found in his restaurants.
Navneet Kalra was then sentenced to 14 days of Judicial custody, which will be till June 3. This order was passed by the Metropolitan Magistrate Vasundhra Azad. The Judge said that “In my considered opinion, police remand is not warranted and necessary”
The plea for Kalra bail will be heard on May 25. Karla was arrested by the Delhi Police on May 16 from Gurugram, hiding in his brother-in-laws’ farmhouse. He was thereafter remanded to three days of police custody.
A case was filed on Navneet Kalra under Section 3 and Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, and Section 34, 120B, 188 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code. after the Delhi Police recovered 524 seized oxygen concentrators out of which 96 were recovered from “Khan Chaha” restaurant, 9 from “Town Hall’ both in the Khan Market. And 419 oxygen concentrators from “Nege & Ju” restaurant-cum-bar in Lodhi Colony in south Delhi. Navneet Kalra is the owner of the aforesaid restaurants.
In the hearing today, Atul Shrivastav The Additional Public Prosecutor [APP] appearing for the Police sought Kalra’s custody on the grounds that he needs to be confronted with mobile phone data and bank account details that have become available. The APP also claimed that the Oxygen concentrators supplied by Kalra were not working and useless, a report by AIIMS doctors who have examined the concentrators recovered.
Advocate Vineet Malhotra appearing for Navneet Kalra said regarding the allegation that the concentrators were below par in quality, Malhotra told that Police after recovering the same supplied 450 of them to COVID care centers. Kalra has been made a scapegoat. He added.
The court allowed Kalra to speak, who was present for the hearing via video conference from Jail. Kalra told the court, “Police have also got concentrators from me. I am not a manufacturer or importer of these machines. I have so many messages saying machines bought from me saved lives. I also replaced machines in three or four cases when it was pointed out that they were defective”
The court proceeded to decline the plea for police custody while posting Kalra’s bail application for hearing on 25 May.