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Monday, June 21, 2021

Lookout circular issued against Kalra, court denies interim relief

Police said businessman Naveent Kalra imported the equipment at Rs 16,000 to Rs 22,000 each and sold it at around Rs 70,000.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi |
Updated: May 11, 2021 12:17:29 am
Oxygen concentrators being taken away following a raid at the 'Khan Chacha' restaurant in New Delhi, on Friday. (Photo: PTI/File)

Delhi Police on Monday issued a look-out-circular (LoC) against businessman Navneet Kalra, accused of allegedly black marketing oxygen concentrators in the capital along with an international SIM company called Matrix Cellular Services Ltd.

Kalra owns three restaurants from where police recovered over 500 oxygen concentrators. The probe into the case has been transferred to the interstate cell of the Crime Branch.

During investigation, it was found that Matrix allegedly procured more than 7,000 machines from local vendors and Chinese companies and sold them at “exorbitant rates” to Covid patients and their families.

Police Saturday arrested the company’s CEO Gaurav Khanna and Vice President Gaurav Suri along with three other employees. The accused have been booked under sections related to cheating, Epidemic Diseases Act, and Essential Commodities Act.

Police claim Kalra, who is now absconding, worked with his friend Gagan Duggal, owner of Matrix Cellular Services, to sell the equipment. “We have sent our request to FRRO, asking them to open an LoC against him. We have already opened an LoC on Sunday night,” a senior police officer said.

Raids are being conducted by police in several areas of South Delhi, and they are approaching Kalra’s contacts for clues.

Police on Friday had said the accused imported the equipment at a cost of Rs 16,000 to Rs 22,000 each and sold it for Rs 70,000.

Meanwhile, a Delhi court on Monday refused to grant a stay on coercive action against Kalra’s anticipatory bail application, which will now be heard on Tuesday. Additional Sessions Judge Sumit Dass was supposed to hear Kalra’s anticipatory bail plea, but the police asked for a
day’s time to file a reply in the matter.

Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava also told the court that the case may be heard in a different court since the investigation has been transferred to the crime branch. The court ordered the investigating officer of the case to be present in court on Tuesday along with a copy of the reply.

When the prosecutor asked the court whether there was any stay on coercive action against Kalra since his application will be taken up tomorrow, the court said it was not granting any relief.

Kalra in his anticipatory bail said “there has been no violation of Essential Commodities Act, 1955, Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 nor has there been commission of any offence under the provisions of Indian Penal Code. “The Applicant or the Company has bought the machines through legal method i.e. by cheques and that there is no hoarding much less illegal hoarding of the machines,” his application read.

The court was also told that “applicant also requested M/s Matrix Cellular (International) Services Ltd. to supply them some concentrators so that the applicant can also be involved in wide-spread distribution of the same in order to save lives amidst the pandemic. All sales were only being made through bank transfers.”

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