Millennium Post

Cops lose Kalra's custody despite claiming 'voluminous probe' left

New Delhi: Observing that the courts are not expected to be carried away by the public sentiment and hence cannot authorise detention merely because "some stringent and non-bailable sections have been slapped upon the accused by the prosecution", a Delhi court on Thursday dismissed Delhi Police's 5-day remand plea and sent businessman Navneet Kalra to a 14-day judicial custody in connection with a case of alleged blackmarketing of oxygen concentrators.

On the prosecution's contention that incriminating material available with police against the accused have already been recovered and what remains is mere confrontation of Kalra with the said material, the court noted that police remand in such circumstances is not warranted and hence dismissed the argument.

"Even if the accused is remanded to JC (judicial custody) or enlarged upon bail, nothing whatsoever is an impediment upon the investigating agency to confront or interrogate the accused," the court order read.

During the hearing, Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava submitted that huge transactions, as many as 516, were made by the accused and almost 23 bank branches are involved in these transactions. He argued that notices have already been sent to these banks but the recovered material is yet to be confronted with him.

Meanwhile, senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, on behalf of Kalra, submitted that his client has fully cooperated with police at every stage and the contention of the mirror image not being created does not hold ground as Kalra's presence is not required for the same.

Advocate Vineet Malhotra, assisting Pahwa, told the court that even Bollywood actor Salman Khan had procured the same machines for distribution among the needy and showed the actor's Twitter profile displaying the same.

And as the Delhi Police continue their probe, they have now claimed that they have enough material to show that Kalra allegedly sold defective concentrators to some people.

When asked whether he had recalled the defective concentrators when people complained to him, sources aware of the probe, said that he had no response.

During his three-day police remand, cops took Kalra to his offices, hotels and there they seized books of accounts, laptop and other documents for further investigation, an official said.

Sources aware of the probe said that the police is suspecting Kalra was using an Innova car for the transportation and distribution of concentrators after having dumped his Range Rover car.

The police also raided a farmhouse of Kalra's at Mehrauli and recovered an iPad and a diary having accounts-related data and other information. Sources added that the police have also retrieved group chats from a seized phone, which showed conversations related to the dealing and distribution and sale of these concentrators.

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