NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Thursday refused to grant anticipatory bail to businessman Navneet Kalra in connection with the seizure of oxygen concentrators, required by COVID-19 patients, from his upscale restaurants including ‘Khan Chacha’ in the national capital.
“Application is dismissed,” Additional Session Judge Sandeep Garg said.
Fearing arrest, the businessman had moved the court earlier this week to seek bail in the case.
During a recent raid, 524 oxygen concentrators were recovered from three restaurants owned by Kalra and it is suspected that he has left Delhi along with his family.
These concentrators are crucial medical equipment used for COVID-19 management.
On Wednesday, the court had reserved the order on the pre-arrest bail after hearing the arguments of both the prosecution and defense at length.
During the proceedings, Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava had opposed the plea and told the court that Kalra’s custodial interrogation is required and that bail should not be granted as he is an influential person.
“His intention was to cheat the public at large and wrongfully gain. Had Delhi Police not busted the racket, many people would have been cheated,” the public prosecutor said.
The prosecutor had also apprised the court about a lab report which showed that the seized oxygen concentrators are not working, have poor quality and their working capacity is only 20.8 per cent.
Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, representing the accused, asked the court how his client can be accused of selling the oxygen concentrators at exorbitant prices, if there is no ceiling price fixed by the government.
The senior advocate emphasised that selective leaks are made by the Delhi Police against Kalra and that he is being made a scapegoat to divert the attention from core issues.