Delhi Court grants bail to Navneet Kalra in oxygen concentrator black marketing case

A Delhi Court on Saturday granted bail to Navneet Kalra in oxygen concentrator black marketing case.
The order was pronounced by Judge Arun Kumar Garg, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Saket Courts after hearing counsel for Kalra and the prosecution.
Bail was granted subject to personal bond of Rs. 1 lakh and two sureties of the like amount.
Kalra’s bail application was opposed by Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava on the ground that his intention was to cheat persons in vulnerable condition and make profit.
It was the prosecution’s case that Kalra, along with other co-accused, “hatched a conspiracy” to wrongfully make money by “inducing” the public to buy his oxygen concentrators at an “exorbitant rate” amid a raging pandemic.
Shrivastava placed reliance on a report from medical devices testing laboratory, to contend that the seized oxygen concentrators were useless and in fact, harmful for the persons using it.
In response to Kalra’s question as to why the police gave the oxygen concentrators to COVID centres if they were of inferior quality, Shrivastava informed the Court,
“Police officers are also prone to be cheated. After they got to know that these oxygen concentrators, (were substandard, DM was informed).. if they were given to DM sahab, it was not done by our own. There was direction by Delhi High Court to hand over..”
Srivastava said that if released on bail, Navneet Kalra would tamper with the evidence and influence the witnesses.
Counsel for Kalra, Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa argued that no purpose would be served by keeping Kalra in pre-trial detention as no more recoveries have to be made from him.
It was also argued that there was no inducement or misrepresentation as the information with respect to the products’ capacity/output of around 30 percent was given on the website of the product.
He also asked why the Government of India had not stopped the import of the oxygen concentrators in question if they are of sub-standard quality.
Pahwa also highlighted that the Central government had admitted before the High Court that the price of the oxygen concentrators was unregulated and thus there could be no case of illegal profiteering against Kalra.
Pahwa said that Navneet Kalra would abide by any condition imposed on him and would also cooperate with the investigation.
Kalra’s anticipatory bail was rejected by the trial court on May 13 on the ground that his custodial investigation was required to be carried out by Delhi Police to unearth the entire conspiracy.
Subsequently, the Delhi High Court had declined to grant any interim relief to Kalra in connection with the case.
After his arrest, Kalra was sent to police custody. Kalra was sent to 14-day judicial custody in the case by the Metropolitan Magistrate after it opined that no case was made out for further extension of police custody.

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