Delhi’s ‘Khan Chacha’ Restaurant Owner Arrested In Oxygen Scam Case


Over 500 oxygen concentrators had been recovered from three Khan Market restaurants (File)

New Delhi:

Delhi-based businessman Navneet Kalra, accused of selling oxygen concentrators at massively inflated prices, has been arrested from a farmhouse in neighbouring Gurgaon.

Police had been trying to find Mr Kalra since they recovered over 500 oxygen concentrators from his three Khan Market restaurants – Khan Chacha, Nega Ju and Town Hall, earlier this month. The medical equipment that can generate high-concentration oxygen from the air, have been in high demand because of oxygen shortage in the national capital.

Mr Kalra had approached a Delhi court last week, seeking protection from arrest. He said he was willing to join the investigation.

The court, however, said allegations against him were serious in nature and custodial interrogation was required. Rejecting the bail request, the court said the mobile phone of the accused, which allegedly contains incriminating WhatsApp chats with customers and details of calls made to the co-accused, needed to be seized.

The judge also pointed out the possibility of the accused tampering with evidence or intimidating witnesses.

The public prosecutor in the case had alleged last week that the oxygen concentrators Mr Kalra had been selling were not suited for Covid treatment as they could generate only 20.8 per cent pure oxygen.

On May 5, a case under sections that deal with cheating, criminal conspiracy and common intention, was registered against Mr Kalra.

Four employees of Matrix Cellular company, including its CEO and vice president, and one employee of Town Hall restaurant had also been arrested in the case – all of them are out on bail.

Delhi has been dealing with a devastating spell of coronavirus infections, which has triggered shortages of medical oxygen, hospital beds and essential medicines.

Reports of the black marketing of oxygen cylinders and essential drugs have emerged from several states as the country deals with the more dangerous second wave of infections.

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