Businessman Navneet Kalra, under investigation for the alleged black marketing of oxygen concentrators, has through his lawyers told a Delhi court that he was made a scapegoat “so that the attention is diverted from core issues in society”.
Kalra’s anticipatory bail application was heard by Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Garg who has reserved the order for Thursday.
Kalra’s lawyer, senior advocate Vikas Pahwa argued that “no offence was made out” against his client and “a campaign was launched against him by his competitors and people who don’t like him”.
Pahwa told the court that the police based it’s investigation on the basis of social media posts.
“Where is black marketing in this case? My photos have been circulated all over social media. This has been done deliberately. Why an independent investigation is not done. They want to make a scapegoat so that the attention is diverted from core issues in the society. What they have at the time of arrest are only the recoveries … you should have first collected all the evidence, issued notices to them, everything pending. But they first arrest the person and start an investigation … See the quality of investigation. They are relying on social media reports … is this the way the Crime Branch wants to satisfy the court that on some post there is an allegation that money was not paid. Do we rely on social media?,” Pahwa told the court.
Pahwa went on to say that the police case was based on their “figment of imagination” and asked “If someone is investing and bringing these oxygen concentrators to this country. Is this an offence?”
Pahwa told the court that all transactions made by Kalra were legitimate and it was the Government which did not make an attempt to fix the prices of oxygen concentrators.
“The Government has not fixed any price. An attempt was made by them in June 2020. The step of Government was not taken to a logical conclusion. There was no MRP, so how can we say it was sold at an exorbitant price?” Kalra’s lawyer told the court.
“During these pandemic times is it imperative to arrest people when the high powered committee (HPC) is conscious of the fact that they wanted to decongest the jail and that the police are also arbitrarily arresting people. Are they (police) doing it to suit vested interests? Delhi police is deliberately not following Arnesh Kumar guidelines…all recoveries are made and they want to arrest me…Today what HPC thought is Delhi Police is not following Arnesh Kumar, then the DSLSA was directed to inform the police on this. The Supreme Court also found that the police are not following the Arnesh Kumar judgement in the entire country,” Pahwa told the court.
Pahwa also told the court that there was not a single person who came forward to the police to complain against Kalra. “Somebody should say there is a false representation. Not even a single person. There are hundreds of people thanking me everyday. There was a time when there was an acute shortage. If those people losing life get oxygen concentrators it is a blessing,” Pahwa told the court.
Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava told the court that Kalra is the “ultimate beneficiary and the main accused” and that his “arrest serves many purposes”. The APP told the court that the “system is there to help the really needy but not greedy person. They have tried to use the situation.”
He also alleged that the accused person used the media to defame the police. “You have put people to wrongful loss. We don’t just have rights but duties also. Duty is done by Delhi Police. Had Delhi Police not acted, many more persons would have been cheated,” he told the court.