A Delhi court on Thursday declined to grant anticipatory bail to businessman Navneet Kalra in connection with the oxygen concentrator black marketing case registered by Delhi Police.
Additional sessions judge, Saket court, Sandeep Garg passed the order rejecting anticipatory bail to Kalra.
Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, representing Kalra, had argued that his client had only carried out a legitimate transaction of import and customs authorities were activated, and the customs was aware of the transaction. “The GST was deposited with the government. Invoices were given and returns were filed,” Pahwa had contended before the court.
However, according to the prosecution, Kalra, along with other co-accused, hatched a conspiracy to wrongfully make money by inducing the public to buy oxygen concentrators from him at an “exorbitant rate”. Delhi police had opposed his anticipatory bail plea stating that the investigation was at a very early stage, and it required Kalra’s custodial interrogation to unearth his relationship with other parties.
Kalra’s counsel had argued that all rules were complied and the transactions of sale were through banking channels. He further added that oxygen concentrators are not cosmetic, not luxury, instead it was used when somebody is medically unfit. “When selling through banking channels, where is the offence”, Kalra’s counsel had submitted.
The prosecution had argued that no anticipatory bail could be granted to “influential persons” who could tamper with evidence. The prosecution further argued Kalra made a lot of money by inducing the needy public to believe that his oxygen concentrators were premium, and also cited a report from Sri Ram laboratory, that the sample of oxygen concentrator was of poor quality.
Kalra’s counsel had pointed out that there was no MRP fixed by the government till date, therefore the prosecution assertion that the price at which his client sold oxygen concentrator was exorbitant, was not correct. “We could not find a single notification, which fixes the price of oxygen concentrators”, said Kalra’s counsel.
He further added that his client was being “framed” based on social media content and he was being made a scapegoat to divert attention from more pressing issues. “It is being deliberately done. A campaign is going on against me”, added Kalra’s counsel.
Police have also alleged that through social media posts, it has come to notice that Kalra had collected advance payments from several persons who required oxygen concentrators, but he kept postponing the supply and increased the price.