NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Saturday granted bail to businessman Navneet Kalra in connection with alleged hoarding of oxygen concentrators. Granting the bail, Judge Arun Kumar Garg said Kalra should not contact anyone to whom he had sold the concentrators.
The bail was granted to Kalra on three conditions - he will not tamper with evidence, will not influence the witnesses and will join the investigation as and when required. The Delhi Police opposed the bail plea stating that his intention was to cheat people and make profits. "This is a white-collar crime. He sold oxygen concentrators to needy people lying on death beds," the prosecution said.
During the hearing, Kalra's counsel and senior advocate Vikas Pahwa told the court that his client had no criminal intention to cheat people and he cannot be kept in pre-trial detention. He submitted that Kalra was being accused of black marketing when he had sold the oxygen concentrators for Rs 60,000 whereas "e-commerce portals like Amazon and Indiamart were selling them at inflated rates of Rs 89,000 to Rs 95,000".
Rebutting the police’s claim that the devices, bought from China at Rs 20,000-Rs 25,000, were being sold for Rs 70,000 apiece via an online portal, Pahwa stated Kalra had been helping his friends and those in need. In fact, he added, Kalra sold the concentrators at a lower price than others.
Kalra was arrested after the Delhi Police 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 incident came to light when the police busted an alleged blackmarketing racket during a raid and recovered 105 concentrators from two upscale restaurants in South Delhi’s Khan Market area.