O2 concentrators case: Delhi court grants bail to Navneet Kalra

A Delhi court on Saturday granted bail to businessman Navneet Kalra arrested in a case for alleged hoarding of oxygen concentrators.

Judge Arun Kumar Garg directed Kalra not to contact anyone to whom he sold the oxygen concentrators. The Delhi Police have opposed Kalra’s bail plea in the court stating that his intention was to cheat persons in vulnerable condition and make profit. The court, while granting bail, imposed three conditions on him: he will not tamper with the evidence in the case, make no attempt to influence the witnesses and he will also join the investigation whenever required.

Kalra was granted bail subject to personal bond of Rs. 1 lakh and two sureties of the like amount. The police had cited report from medical devices testing laboratory, and argued that the seized oxygen concentrators were useless and in fact, harmful for the persons using it.

Kalra’s counsel argued that no purpose would be served by keeping his client in pre-trial detention as no more recoveries have to be made from him. The court had earlier dismissed Delhi police plea seeking five days police custody of Kalra in the case.

Kalra was on the run after the seizure of 524 oxygen concentrators from three restaurants — Khan Chacha, Town Hall, and Nege & Ju — owned by him, but later he was arrested by the police. Four employees of Matrix Cellular company, including its CEO and vice president, who were also arrested, were granted bail in the same 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.