Delhi restaurateur Kalra gets bail in oxygen concentrator case
A Delhi court on Saturday granted bail to restaurateur Navneet Kalra for allegedly hoarding and black-marketing oxygen concentrators on the condition that he would not contact the customers he sold the equipment to.
During a recent raid amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, 524 oxygen concentrators were recovered from Khan Chacha, Town Hall and Nege & Ju restaurants owned by Kalra in the national capital.
Kalra was held in Gurugram on May 16 and formally arrested the next day.
He had been on the run since police raided his restaurants and seized medical devices. A court later sent him to judicial custody till June 3.
Chief metropolitan magistrate Arun Kumar Garg said whatever recovery was required to be effected by the investigating officer from the accused has already been done.
“….the accused Navneet Kalra is hereby admitted to bail on furnishing of personal bond and two surety bonds of ₹1,00,000/- each…with the condition that the accused shall not directly or indirectly try to influence the witnesses, shall not try to contact the customers to whom he had sold the oxygen concentrators during pendency of the investigation, shall not in any manner tamper with the evidence and shall join the investigation as and when directed by the IO,” the court said.
The court said the purpose of bail is neither preventive nor punitive but to secure the appearance of the accused person at his trial by a reasonable amount of bail and the right to bail is not to be denied to the accused merely because the sentiments of the community are against him.
It, however, noted that a perusal of the case diary displayed that prima facie there are reasons to believe that Kalra was involved in the commission of an offence under 420 (cheating), relevant sections of the Essential Commodities Act and provisions of the Drug Price Control Order, both of which are punishable with imprisonment of up to seven years.
Kalra filed his anticipatory bail application before a trial court on May 8, which was dismissed on May 13. On the same day, he moved the Delhi high court challenging the dismissal, during the pendency of which he was arrested.