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Delhi Police action meant to divert attention from core issues: Kalra lawyer

Kalra's anticipatory bail application was heard by Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Garg, who reserved the order for Thursday.

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi |
Updated: May 13, 2021 2:15:04 am
Oxygen concentrators being taken away following a raid at the 'Khan Chacha' restaurant in New Delhi, on Friday. (Photo: PTI)

Businessman Navneet Kalra, who has been accused by the Delhi Police of alleged black marketing of oxygen concentrators, through his lawyers told a Delhi court that he was made a scapegoat “so that the attention is diverted from core issues in society”.

Kalra’s anticipatory bail application was heard by Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Garg, who reserved the order for Thursday.

Kalra’s lawyer, senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, told the court that “no offence was made out” against him and “a campaign was launched against him by his competitors and people who don’t like him”.

Pahwa told the court that the police based its investigation on social media posts.

“Where is black marketing in the case? My photos have been circulated all over social media. This has been done by deliberate design. Why an independent investigation is not done? They want to make a scapegoat so that the attention is diverted from core issues in society. What do they, at the time of arrest, have only the recoveries… you should have first collected all the evidence, issued notices to them, everything pending. But they first arrest the person and start investigation… See the quality of investigation. They are relying on social media reports… is this the way the Crime Branch wants to satisfy the court… Do we rely on social media?” Pahwa told the court.

He also told the court that the police case was based on “figment of imagination” and asked: “If someone is investing and bringing these oxygen concentrators to this country, is this an offence?”

Pahwa told the court that all transactions made by Kalra were legitimate and it was the government which did not make an attempt to fix the prices of oxygen concentrators.

“The government has not fixed any price. An attempt was made by them in June 2020 when they started initiating the process. The step of government was not taken to a logical conclusion. There was no MRP, so how can we say it was sold at an exorbitant price?” Pahwa told the court.

He also told the court that there was not a single person who came forward to the police to complain against Kalra. “Somebody should say there is a false representation. Not even a single person. There are hundreds of people thanking me every day. There was a time when there was an acute shortage. If those people losing life get oxygen concentrator, it is a blessing,” Pahwa told the court.

Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava told the court that Kalra is the “ultimate beneficiary and the main accused” and that his “arrest serves many purposes”.

The APP told the court that the “system is there to help the really needy but not greedy person. They have tried to use the situation.”

He also alleged that the accused used the media to defame the police: “You have put persons to wrongful loss. We don’t just have rights but duties also. Duty is done by Delhi Police. Had Delhi Police not acted, many more persons would have been cheated.”

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