New Delhi, May 20 (ILNS): A Delhi Court today reserved its order on a plea filed by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police, seeking an extension of the five-day police custody remand of businessman Navneet Kalra, accused of hoarding and black-marketing Oxygen Concentrators and other medical equipment, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa, along with Advocate Vineet Malhotra, appeared for the accused, while Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava appeared for Delhi Police.
Metropolitan Magistrate Akanksha Garg sought the response of Delhi Police on Kalra’s bail application. The APP said he will send the response to the defence in some time. Mr Pahwa submitted that they have received the reply and want some time to study it.
“I don’t want to be an impediment in the investigation, I need some time to go through the reply filed by the state on my bail application. In the meantime, if the court wants to decide on the police remand application, it can do that,” said Mr Pahwa.
Mr Shrivastava submitted: “It is necessary to confront the accused, to whom he had sold the defective Oxygen Concentrators. Huge transactions were done, 23 bank branches are involved in this. We have already served the notice to them. These banks accounts are voluminous. We also need to verify the CA of the accused. We have taken him to various places, where he kept all these Oxygen Concentrators. Now, he is with the IO.”
Countering the submissions, Mr Pahwa submitted “As my learned friend says that mirrored image of the mobile phone is needed, this is work of the FSL, custody is not required for it. For Bank statements, the bank will provide that, I am not needed for that.”
Advocate Vineet Malhotra, also appearing for the accused, submitted that on these machines (Oxygen Concentrator), even the government is allowing the import.
He showed the picture of machines purchased by Bollywood actor Salman Khan, stating that the machines were identical, while the numbers were same. Mr Malhotra showed the Twitter handle of Salman Khan to the Court.
Replying to the submissions made by Mr Malhotra, APP Shrivastava submitted “Malhotra Saab has argued that Salman Khan has distributed, Salman Khan has distributed for free. He never said it is sufficient for two men at one time. Government had liberalised the policy for needy persons, not for greedy persons.”
The Court, after hearing the argument, reserved its order for 6:30 pm today. ILNS\KR\SJ\RJ