A Delhi court on Monday refused to grant stay on coercive action against businessman Navneet Kalra, after he filed an anticipatory bail plea in a case related to hoarding of oxygen concentrators at his Delhi restaurant, Live Law reported. The court asked the Delhi Police to file its reply to the plea and will now hear the matter on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police said it has issued a lookout notice against Kalra, who has been absconding since the raids last week, the Hindustan Times reported. A total of 524 concentrators have been seized from registered offices and restaurants owned by Kalra in South Delhi’s Khan Market, Lodhi Colony and Chhatarpur area, police told the newspaper. Initial reports had suggested that the haul was of over 450 concentrators.
A first information report was registered and four people – Hitesh Prakash, Gaurav Singh, Satish Sethi and Vikrant Singh – were arrested during the raids. The accused were booked under Indian Penal Code sections of cheating, Essential Commodities Act and Epidemic Diseases Act. However, Kalra has allegedly been on the run since the raids.
Kalra owns a chain of businesses, including popular eatery Khan Chacha and Dayal Opticals.
In Monday’s court proceedings, public prosecutor Atul Shrivastava, appearing for the Delhi Police, submitted to the court that the case has been transferred to the Crime Branch, and so it should be heard by a judge dealing with such matters, ANI reported. Another public prosecutor, Atul Shrivastava, also representing the Delhi Police sought adjournment of the case for filing its response to the anticipatory bail plea. Meanwhile, Kalra’s counsel moved the anticipatory bail plea and sought a stay on coercive action against him, citing that he was allegedly being hounded.
The national Capital’s healthcare infrastructure has been in shambles ever since the second wave led to an unprecedented rise in daily infections. Multiple hospitals in the city were forced to approach courts to ensure they received supplies of medical oxygen to save lives of Covid-19 patients.
On Monday, India registered 3,66,161 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the tally of infections in the country to 2,26,62,575 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The overall infection count dropped below the 4-lakh mark after four consecutive days. With 3,754 deaths, the toll climbed to 2,46,116.