No interim protection from arrest to Navneet Kalra in oxygen black marketing case: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court on Friday declined interim protection from arrest to businessman Navneet Kalra in connection with a case relating to the hoarding and ‘black marketing’ of oxygen concentrators in a South Delhi restaurant. 

This comes a day after a sessions court dismissed Kalra’s anticipatory bail plea, noting that there was prima facie incriminating evidence that the businessman had sold oxygen concentrators manufactured in China, which did not have “adequate output so as to meet requirement of even one person”. 

“I am persuaded by the reasons given by the trial court which is a valid ground for me not to grant any interim protection now,” Justice Subramonium Prasad said while listing the matter for hearing on May 18, according to PTI. 

Kalra’s lawyers, senior advocates Abhishek M Singhvi and Vikas Pahwa, had urged the High Court to grant him interim protection if the matter was going to be adjourned till May 18 on the request of Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S V Raju.

On Thursday, Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Garg dismissed Kalra’s bail plea, stating that the allegations against him were serious and there was a possibility that he could tamper with evidence or intimidate prosecution witnesses. 

“There is prima facie incriminating evidence on record against the applicant/accused i.e. that the concentrators being sold by applicant/accused were not manufactured with German collaboration and were manufactured in China. They were not having adequate output so as to meet requirement of even one person,” the court had said in its order. It also clarified that nothing expressed in its order “shall be tantamount to expression of opinion on merits of the case”.

Earlier this month, the Delhi Police said that they had seized the largest number of oxygen concentrators in the city so far after they raided a restaurant owned by Kalra in South Delhi’s Lodhi Colony. Four men were arrested from Nege Ju Restaurant and Bar after police found 419 oxygen concentrators from the restaurant as well a warehouse in Chhattarpur.