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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Delhi oxygen concentrator black marketing case: Police asked my son to file complaint against me, Kalra tells court

"If the products were sub-standard, would the Delhi Police have given the same to Covid care centres?" Kalra's lawyer argued.

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi |
Updated: May 28, 2021 6:52:22 pm
oxygen concentrators black. marketing, navneet Kalra oxygen concentrators seized, Delhi Police, covid 19, indian expressChief Metropolitan Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg will pronounce the order on Navneet Kalra’s bail application at 4 pm on Saturday. (File Photo)

Businessman Navneet Kalra, in judicial custody for his role in the alleged black marketing of oxygen concentrators, on Friday told a Delhi court that his own son was called by the police to file a case against him for poor quality oxygen concentrators.

The submissions were made by senior advocate Vikas Pahwa and Vineet Malhotra on Friday. They argued for Kalra’s bail before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg, who adjourned the matter for Saturday when the prosecution will make its arguments.

Pahwa told the court that the police “had the audacity to call” Kalra’s lawyer Vineet Malhotra to file a case against Kalra. Pahwa said the police was looking into Kalra’s call records and reaching out to people in touch with him, asking them to file complaints against Kalra.

“The son got a call: ‘Why don’t you file a complaint?’ He said ‘I have not made any purchases… I am his son, spare me’,” Pahwa told the court.

Pahwa told the court that since the government did not procure the oxygen concentrators, other people had invested money and procured it.

“Am I doing it as black marketing, hoarding? Prima facie is there any criminal intent? When it is an unregulated market? In my own RWA, we purchase oxygen concentrator for the market, the Supreme Court has purchased, the High Court has purchased. Whoever is getting it is doing something helpful. They are investing money to it. The government has not procured it. If the government wants they can fix the prices.”

Pahwa told the court that the “Delhi Police has no jurisdiction to either include these offences in the FIR or to investigate or to even arrest me.”

Pahwa told the court that Kalra “never made representation with regards to the quality of the product sold because the company has the website in which details are being shown.”

Pahwa said, “If the products were sub-standard, would the Delhi Police have given the same to Covid care centres?… It’s a clear case of high headedness. It’s a clear case of making somebody a scapegoat… they are seizing it from me, and then giving the same to Covid care centres for saving lives of people. If the government can do this, why can’t I?”

Pahwa also showed the court Facebook posts of people thanking Kalra for selling oxygen concentrators.

“Why are they allowing the import? Why are they allowing their release? Their argument on quality is completely incorrect… If they say I’ve sold hundreds of them then I’ve hundreds of messages thanking me,” Pahwa told the court.

“I can’t be put to pre-trial detention stage. All the recoveries have been made. When there are efforts by the Supreme Court and High Courts
to decongest the jails, why police is going on a spree to arrest people?,” Pahwa asked the court.

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