No provisional protection from arrest of Navneet Kalra-Delhi HC in case of hoarding oxygen concentrators

The Delhi Supreme Court declined to grant temporary protection from arrest to Navneet Kalra, a businessman and owner of the Khan Chacha cafe who is allegedly charged with hoarding oxygen concentrators, as they were recovered from the latter’s cafe and were confiscated.

The bank denied the solicitor’s application for temporary protection and gave the objection time to submit a response.

In the present case, the Delhi police had registered a case under Sections 420, 188, 120 (B) and 34 of the Indian Criminal Code and Sections 3 and 7 of the Essential Commodity Act of 1955 against Navneet Kalra for allegedly recovering 500 oxygen concentrators from a few Restaurants in Delhi.

The attorney alleged that a person could not be punished before the price of an essential commodity was fixed. The lawyer asserted that a person could not be punished if no decision was made under Section 3 (1) of the Act on Essential Goods.

The attorney also submitted to the court that monitoring of the price of a good could be initiated before the maximum retail price (MRP) of the good was set.

The opposition alleged that the alleged defendant imported oxygen concentrator machines. To this end, the complainant alleged that these had been sold to police officers and donated to COVID care centers.

The applicant also denied the allegation of the marketing and hoarding of black and submitted to the bank that the said machines had been purchased from an importer and that all related transactions had been carried out through legal channels.

After hearing the lawyers, the bank asked the complainant to provide evidence of the capacity under which he was holding 105 oxygen concentrators. The bank inquired under what authority an unlicensed person could hold oxygen concentrators.

The bank has refused the requested temporary protection and adjourned the hearing.

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