A Delhi Court today refused anticipatory bail to businessman Navneet Kalra in reference to the oxygen concentrator black marketing case being probed by the Delhi Police (Navneet Kalra v. State).
The order was gone by Additional Sessions Judge at Saket Courts, Sandeep Garg who opined that Kalra’s custodial investigation was required to be administered by Delhi Police to unearth the whole conspiracy.
“The applicant/accused has not joined the investigation till date. Investigation within the case is at its initial stage. The mobile of applicant / accused which reportedly contains incriminating WhatsApp chats with customers, details of calls made to co-accused persons and his accounts are required to be seized. Custodial interrogation of applicant / accused is required to be administered to unearth the whole conspiracy hatched between him and variety of co-accused persons.”
As per the prosecution case, Navneet Kalra, along side other co-accused, “hatched a conspiracy” to wrongfully make money by “inducing” the general public to shop for his oxygen concentrators at an “exorbitant rate” amid a raging pandemic.
Delhi Police opposed Kalra’a anticipatory bail on the bottom that the investigation was at a really early stage which Kalra’s custodial interrogation was imperative to further unearth his relationship with other parties.
It was argued that no anticipatory bail might be granted to “influential persons” who have the potential to tamper with evidence.
The prosecution contended that Kalra had made “crores of rupees” by inducing the needy public to believe that his oxygen concentrators were “premium”, “German” and “sufficient for 2 persons”.
Relying on a report from Sri Ram laboratory, the prosecution asserted that the sample oxygen concentrator had begin as having “poor quality” and were “not working”.
Kalra, on the opposite hand, claimed that he was being “framed” supported content on social media and was made a scapegoat to divert attention from more pressing issues.
It was submitted that the oxygen concentrators seized from his restaurants were authenticated and properly imported, and were sold after raising invoices.
On the allegations that the concentrators were being sold at exorbitant prices, Kalra highlighted that the govt authorities itself had not fixed a ceiling price for the machines.
The Court opined that there was clear incriminating evidence on record against Navneet Kalra to the effect that contrary to the brochure, the concentrators being sold by him weren’t manufactured with “German collaboration” and were manufactured in China.
Considering the lab reports, the Court added that the typical output in terms of Oxygen purity of two samples was found to be 32.7 % & 38.2 % and with the laboratory room air, the Oxygen concentration was found to be merely 20.8 %.
With regards the allegations of price manipulation by Kalra, the Court noted,
“As per statement of 1 aggrieved, the applicant/accused had firstly quoted the worth of Oxygen concentrator as Rs. 49,999/- and on subsequent day, he forced him to pay Rs. 55,000/- due to his urgent requirement.. The applicant/accused is reported to possess collected advance payments from several needy persons for supply of Oxygen concentrators and he kept on postponing the delivery on the pretext of shipment being held-up. He kept on increasing the worth of an equivalent and eventually, he neither supplied the merchandise to many persons, nor refunded their advance amounts.”
The anticipatory bail was accordingly rejected.
Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa with Advocate Vineet Malhotra appeared for Kalra. APP Atul Srivastava appeared for the State.
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