Khan Chacha owner Navneet Kalra remanded to three-day police custody in oxygen concentrator case
A Delhi court on Monday remanded businessman and owner of popular eatery, Khan Chacha, Navneet Kalra to three-day police custody in connection with a case of alleged hoarding of oxygen concentrators at his restaurant in the national capital. Kalra was arrested on Sunday night after evading police for eight days. Delhi police has sought custody of the restaurateur for five days for questioning.
Public prosecutor Atul Shrivastav told the court that eight complaints have already been filed against Kalra, who has been evading arrest, and that the society was counting on the judiciary and the police. Shrivastav also told the court that Kalra had to be questioned to find out the details of his operation as among the 748 oxygen concentrators reportedly imported by Kalra only 524 could be traced.
Kalra through his counsel Vineet Malhotra told the court that he has been made a “poster boy” in the case when online platforms like Amazon have been allegedly selling similar equipment for ₹1.5 lakh. Urging the state to act like a prosecuting agency and not a persecuting one, his counsel also informed the court that details of manufacturers and machines have been handed over to the police, even as his accountant has been picked up by the cops for questioning.
Delhi police had seized 524 oxygen concentrators from three restaurants owned by Kalra -- Khan Chacha, Nega Ju, Town Hall -- and from a storage in Chattarpur owned by a company called Matrix Cellular. Investigators have told the court previously that they are in possession of evidence to show Kalra was selling concentrators bought for ₹14,000-15,000 at an inflated price of ₹75,000 and above.
The Delhi high court had refused interim bail protection to Kalra on Friday even as his high-profile legal team comprising senior lawyers Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Vikas Pahwa called the case a “harassment of their client”, adding that punishment cannot be meted out to Kalra since the price of oxygen concentrators, an essential commodity, has not been fixed by the government
Kalra’s counsel also informed the court that he suffered a fall and had to be given stitches on his jaw while asking for permission for him to be allowed access to liquid food and a visit to Medanta hospital for a check-up.