NEW DELHI: The police on Monday told the Delhi High Court that as long as Matrix Cellular commits no offence, like selling oxygen concentrators or other COVID-19 related items at prices which are not legally permissible or are defective, it will not seize the goods they have imported.
The police told the high court that Matrix can get released its goods awaiting customs clearance at the Delhi airport, send some of the samples for testing and can sell its products in the market, but if any of its imported items is found to be defective or if the company is selling them by making false representations or at prices which are not legally permissible, then it will seize such goods.
The company told the high court that it was agreeable to the terms set by the police as it wanted its goods to be taken out of customs to avoid payment of any further demurrage charges.
In view of the submissions by both the sides, Justice Asha Menon disposed of the plea moved by the company to restrain the police from taking any coercive measures like seizure of its oxygen concentrators or other related products it would be importing or has imported in connection with COVID-19 treatment.
In its petition, Matrix had claimed that its import of the concentrators was legitimate and a part of the consignment was stored at businessman Navneet Kalra’s restaurant ‘Nege and Ju’ as it was a “collection centre” from where people could purchase the units without having to crowd outside the company’s office.
The company had claimed that due to the increase in number of COVID-19 patients in the city, there were several persons in dire need of concentrators and it was leading to people queuing outside its office.
“Accordingly, the petitioner (Matrix) decided to designate an alternate location as a collection point for the oxygen concentrators and related equipment and it was pursuant to the same, the Petitioner designated a restaurant – ‘Nege and Ju’,” the petition had said.
It had claimed that the “collection centre” was chosen at Kalra’s restaurant as it was centrally located and was accessible by people from all parts of the National Capital Region.
However, on May 5, the police seized all the concentrators at the said collection centre on “baseless and misconceived” allegation that the same was as part of black market operation, it further claimed.
“Thereafter, during the dead of the night, the said police officers arrived at the office of the petitioner and seized the entire stock of oxygen concentrators located therein,” the petition had said.
“In view of the same and in anticipation of further prejudicial and coercive action being taken by these police officers against the goods being acquired by the petitioner, similar to that already taken by these police officers in relation to the products previously seized, the Petitioner is filing the present writ petition seeking inter alia directions restraining the respondents (police) from taking such similar prejudicial and coercive action against the products being imported by the petitioner in the future,” the company had said in its plea.