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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Delhi oxygen concentrator case: Navneet Kalra remanded in 3-day police custody

Kalra's lawyer, Vineet Malhotra who opposed the remand, told the court that the application was malafide as he had himself purchased an oxygen concentrator and later got a phone call from the Delhi Police asking him to file a complaint stating that the equipment was of bad quality.

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi |
Updated: May 17, 2021 8:36:16 pm
Delhi oxygen concentrator case: Navneet Kalra remanded in 3-day police custodyA Delhi court remanded businessman Navneet Kalra, arrested for allegedly black marketing oxygen concentrators, to police custody for three days. (PTI)

A Delhi court remanded businessman Navneet Kalra, arrested for allegedly black marketing oxygen concentrators, to police custody for three days.

The order was pronounced Monday, by Metropolitan Magistrate Archana Beniwal on the application of Delhi Police.

Delhi Police on Sunday evening arrested Kalra, who is accused of black marketing oxygen concentrators in the capital along with an international SIM company called Matrix Cellular Services Ltd. He has been arrested from his brother-in-law’s farmhouse in Gurugram.

Kalra owns three restaurants, from where police had recovered more than 500 oxygen concentrators.

Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava had asked the court to grant the police five days custody of Kalra. The police have told the court that they have details of 524 out of 748 concentrators and need to recover laptops and other gadgets. There are more things including the procurement system that need to be unearthed, the court was told.

Srivastava told the court that the “situation is very grave.” “The persons whom they sold (the equipment) were in dire need and they were such a needy person. Government gave them (accused) liberty to help needy people but they are greedy people. They made huge money,” Srivastava told the court.

The APP told the court that Kalra had “not surrendered” and that “it was the police who arrested him”. “The whole society is looking at the investigating agency and the judiciary in this case,” the APP told the court.

Kalra’s lawyer, Vineet Malhotra opposed the police remand and told the court that the remand application was malafide. He told the court that he had himself purchased an oxygen concentrator and got a phone call from the Delhi Police asking him to file a complaint stating that the equipment was of bad quality.

Malhotra also shared the phone number of the policeman who made the phone call and told the court, “I had personally purchased a concentrator. I got a call from the police saying that I should file a complaint saying that the quality of the concentrator was bad … Now they are hounding people to file a case.

Malhotra told the court that the police registered the “FIR first and then did the investigation.”

“The state should act like a prosecution agency and not a persecution agency. Is this the way the investigating agency is to behave. Nobody is safe,” Malhotra told the court.

Malhotra told the court that the police remand for five days was absurd. He told the court that the police already had his mobile phones and other electronic gadgets. Furthermore, all the bank account details have also been provided to the police.

Malhotra also told the court that a recent order by a judge at the Dwarka District court said that oxygen concentrators are not essential commodities

“For what purpose do they need custody? They have the money trail. They can get any information they want from me. Remand for 5 days custody is absurd,” Malhotra told the court.

 

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