Delhi Police on Sunday, May 16, arrested businessman Navneet Kalra, accused of hoarding and selling oxygen concentrators at inflated prices. He was nabbed from his brother-in-law's farmhouse in Gurugram.
The police had been on the lookout for Kalra ever since they seized over 500 oxygen concentrators from his three restaurants on May 7, in Delhi's Khan Market complex, including Khan Chacha Cafe, Nege and Ju and Town Hall. The concentrators were also seized from his properties at Lodhi Colony and Chattarpur, reported LiveLaw.
He was absconding ever since the police raided his properties. The department had earlier arrested four others involved in the case, including employees of the international SIM company, Matrix Cellular services (including CEO and vice president) and one employee of Town Hall restaurant - Hitesh Prakash, Gaurav Singh, Satish Sethi and Vikrant Singh. All four are now out on bail.
According to Scroll.in report, the investigation revealed that the SIM company had allegedly bought more than 7,000 machines from local vendors and Chinese companies and sold them to the customers at higher rates. Kalra, along with his friend Gagan Duggal, the company's owner, sold the equipment. According to the police, the equipment was imported for ₹16,000 to ₹22,000 each and sold for ₹70,000.
Kalra had earlier approached the sessions court and sought interim protection from the arrest, but it was denied on May 13. He then moved to the Delhi High Court, which further refused his plea, stating that the allegations against Kalra were serious and required custodial interrogation.
The court also ordered to seize Kalra's phone, which allegedly contains WhatsApp conversations with customers and calls made to the people involved. It also asked the police to look out for possibilities where he might have tampered with the evidence and intimidated the witnesses, the media reported.
Kalra allegedly sold concentrators of low efficacy that generated only 20.8 per cent pure oxygen. Medical equipment has become essential in the national capital amid the oxygen shortage.
He has been arrested under sections 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 120B (criminal conspiracy) 34 (criminal act done by several persons) of the Indian Penal Code, and Sections 3 and 7 of the Essential Commodity Act, 1995. The case has now been transferred to the Crime Branch.