Let law take its own course: HC on Kalra’s plea for speedy bail hearing

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday declined to direct expeditious decision on the bail plea of businessman Navneet Kalra, who has been arrested for allegedly black marketing oxygen concentrators amid a brutal second wave of the Covid pandemic.

A single bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad said: “Let the law take its own course.”

The High Court also refrained from making any interference with the observations of a session’s court, which dismissed Kalra’s anticipatory bail plea.

Kalra was represented by senior advocate Vikas Pahwa.

Refusing to grant relief to Kalra, the court said he had moved an anticipatory bail plea which has become infructuous after his arrest and therefore, nothing remains in the matter.

Kalra’s counsel urged the high court to direct the trial court to decide his bail expeditiously. He also urged the court to expunge the observations made on his client by the sessions court, as after his arrest he cannot challenge the order denying him anticipatory bail.

A Delhi court on Monday sent Kalra, who was arrested late on Sunday night, to three days’ police custody in connection with oxygen concentrator hoarding case.

Metropolitan Magistrate Archana Beniwal at the Saket district court passed the order after hearing the arguments of Delhi Police and Kalra’s lawyers. The Delhi Police had sought a five-day custody of Kalra for interrogation in connection with the alleged black-marketing and hoarding of oxygen concentrators.

Delhi Police arrested Kalra, who was absconding since May 7, from his brother-in-law’s farmhouse in Gurugram late Sunday night and handed him over to the Crime Branch, which is probing the matter.

Kalra was on the run since the seizure of 524 oxygen concentrators from three restaurants — Khan Chacha, Town Hall, and Nege & Ju — owned by him.

The High Court on May 14 declined to grant him any interim protection from arrest while his plea for anticipatory bail was pending before it.

Four employees of Matrix Cellular company, including its CEO and vice president, who were also arrested, were granted bail in the case. Kalra bought oxygen concentrators from Matrix Cellular which imported them.

On May 5, a case was registered against Kalra under Section 420 (cheating), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. The case was also registered under Essential Commodities Act and Epidemic Diseases Act.