28 May 2021 11:48 AM GMT
Businessman Navneet Kalra, arrested in connection with Oxygen Concentrators hoarding case, on Friday submitted before a Delhi Court that Delhi Police has no jurisdiction to investigate or to arrest him in the present case pertaining to Drugs and Cosmetics Act and that he cannot be put to pre trial detention.Submitting that it was a case of "high headedness" and of making Kalra a scapegoat,...
Businessman Navneet Kalra, arrested in connection with Oxygen Concentrators hoarding case, on Friday submitted before a Delhi Court that Delhi Police has no jurisdiction to investigate or to arrest him in the present case pertaining to Drugs and Cosmetics Act and that he cannot be put to pre trial detention.
Submitting that it was a case of "high headedness" and of making Kalra a scapegoat, Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa concluded his arguments on behalf of Navneet Kalra in his regular bail plea.
The submissions were heard by Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg who later adjourned the hearing at the request of Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava appearing for the State. The Court will now hear prosecution's submissions tomorrow at 10:30 AM after which the order will be reserved by the Court.
Relying heavily on the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Union of India v. Ashok Kumar Sharma (2020), Pahwa submitted thus:
"Delhi Police has no jurisdiction to either include these offences in the FIR or to investigate or to even arrest me. The law has been settled that they cannot include the case in the FIR. Only Drug Inspector can arrest me under Drugs and Cosmetics Act. They don't file a chargesheet and file a complaint."
Submitting this, Pahwa casted a comparison between price of oxygen Concentrators that were sold by him with those being sold at Amazon and India Mart.
"Admittedly, the oxygen Concentrators of the same make are available on Amazon and India Mart at 95,000 and 89,000 respectively whereas I'm selling them for 60,000." Pahwa submitted.
Similarly, Pahwa relied on the tweet of Salman Khan stating that he has also purchased similar oxygen To be distributed to public at large.
"I just want to show that government has been allowing imports of these oxygen Concentrators to be used by everyone in the country." Pahwa submitted.
On the allegations of the products being of a sub standard quality, Pahwa went ahead to submit thus:
"If the products were sub standard, would the Delhi Police have given the same to covid care centres? I'm only on cheating. It's a clear case of high headedness. It's a clear case of making somebody a scapegoat. If they are conducting is that they are seizing it from me, and then giving the same to covid care centres for saving lives of people. It the government can do this, why can't I?"
Arguing further that Matrix Cellular Limited was beyond Kalra's control, Pahwa submitted that he had good intent to sell the oxygen Concentrators.
"Either I send everyone home or do an alternative work. If 7 or 8 people were overcharged only to give them warranty, that shouldn't come under cheating. As far as 420 is concerned, there is no material to show that I have criminal intent to cheat someone." Pahwa submitted.
On the aspect of the whole process being a pre arrest detention, Pahwa submitted:
"I can't be put to pre trial detention stage. All the recoveries have been made. When there are efforts by the Supreme Court and HCs to decongest the jails, why police is going on a spree to arrest people?"
At this juncture, the Court asked Pahwa that the fact of him purchasing the products from Matrix Cellular and then selling it at higher prices as fixed by Matrix, would be covered under black marketing or not.
"Why does the government not regulating it? Why doesn't it say that only the government will sell it? I have deep roots in society. My lord may impose any conditions particularly when 5 other co accused were given bail by this Court. This denial of bail at this stage particularly when I'm not required for custodial interrogation, I am with folded hands praying bail on the grounds of parity and principles of bail." Pahwa argued while concluding his submissions.
A Delhi Court had last week turned down Delhi Police's application seeking 5 days police custody remand for Kalra after hearing the submissions of Advocate Vineet Malhotra and Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava.
Kalra is presently under judicial custody in the matter.
The Delhi Police had registered a case under Sec. 420,188,120B,34 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 7 of the Essential Commodity Act 1955 for recovery of over 500 oxygen Concentrators from some restaurants in the national capital. The case has been transferred to the Crime Branch.
Delhi High Court had refused to grant interim protection from arrest to Kalra after he moved the High Court seeking anticipatory bail in the matter after hearing the matter for two days. A single judge bench comprising of Justice Subramonium Prasad turned down the request of Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi and orally remarked thus:
"I'm persuaded by the trial court's order. Interim protection cannot be given at this stage."
Earlier, Kalra's anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the Sessions Court.