The Delhi Police arrested businessman Navneet Kalra on Sunday (16/05/2021) in connection with the oxygen concentrator hoarding and black-marketing case.
Kalra was picked up by the police from his brother-in-law’s Gurugram Farmhouse.
Kalra, along with his family, was absconding ever since the Delhi Police recovered 524 oxygen concentrators in raids at several upscale hotels under his name.
The businessman has earlier approached the lower court in Saket seeking interim protection from coercive action which was refused by the court. An anticipatory bail application was also heard by the Additional Sessions Judge at Saket Court but was rejected as the accused had to be further questioned and due to the apprehension that the accused may tamper with the evidence in the case.
The owner and staffs of Matrix Cellular, an international SIM card provider, are co-accused in the case. It is alleged that the oxygen concentrators were imported by Matrix Cellular and was handed over to Karla for safekeeping and sale.
The Delhi Police had earlier arrested four people in the case including CEO and Vice-President of Matrix Cellular but they were given bail by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Saket Court citing the argument that the sale of the medical devices was legal as the government has not capped the price of these devices and that all transactions were taxed under GST.
It was during the first week of May that the Delhi Police had uncovered a hoard of 524 oxygen concentrators from three upscale hotels owned by Karla. In the initial raid at the famous Khan Chacha restaurant in Khan Market 96 oxygen concentrators were recovered and 9 concentrators were recovered from the Town Hall restaurant. Later raid in Nege & Ju Restaurant and Bar in Lodhi Colony recovered 419 of the medical devices. All three hotels are owned by Karla.
It is alleged that the oxygen concentrators were imported from China by a private company and kept hoarded for sale in the black market owing to the high demand for the product in the worsening Covid situation in the capital.
It is alleged that the accused were charging as high as Rs 70,000 for the oxygen concentrators which in the open market costs around Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000.
The accused are charged under various sections 420 (cheating), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 120B (Criminal Conspiracy) and 34 (Acts done in common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 3 and 7 the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.