Prima facie evidence against Kalra in sale of Chinese O2 concentrators, Delhi court declines anticipatory bail

The Delhi Additional Sessions Court on Thursday remarked that there was prima facie evidence against businessman Navneet Kalra in connection with sale of oxygen concentrators manufactured in China and dismissed his anticipatory bail application.

Judge Sandeep Garg dismissed Kalra’s bail noting that the allegations against him were serious and possibility of him “tampering with the evidence or intimidating the prosecution witnesses cannot be ruled out”. The court also clarified that nothing expressed in it’s order “shall tantamount to expression of opinion on merits of the case”.

Police said they had recovered 524 concentrators from two top restaurants — Town Hall and Khan Chacha — in Khan Market, Nege Ju in Lodhi Colony, and Matrix’s warehouse in Chhatarpur’s Mandi Village. All three restaurants are owned by Kalra, police said. The police have alleged that these oxygen concentrators were sold at exorbitant prices during the pandemic.

The court in its order stated, “there is prima facie incriminating evidence on record against the applicant/ accused i.e. 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 the requirements of even one person”.

The court perused a report submitted by Shriram Institute for Industrial Research, in respect of two Oxygen concentrators seized from the premises of Kalra. The court stated that the “average output in terms of Oxygen purity is found to be 32.7 % & 38.2 %. With the laboratory room air, the Oxygen concentration was found to be merely 20.8%”.

The court noted that Kalra faced allegations of collecting advance payments from several needy persons for supply of Oxygen concentrators and he kept on postponing the delivery on the pretext of shipment being held-up.

“He kept increasing the price of the same and eventually, he neither supplied the product to several persons, nor refunded their advance amount,” the order read.

The court said that Kalra has not joined investigation till date, the investigation in the case is at its initial stage and his mobile phone which reportedly contains incriminating WhatsApp chats with customers, details of calls made to co-accused persons and his accounts are required to be seized.

“Custodial interrogation of applicant /accused is required to be carried out to unearth the entire conspiracy hatched between him and a number of co-accused persons,” the court said.