Delhi-based businessman Navneet Kalra, accused of selling oxygen concentrators at massively inflated prices, has been arrested from a farmhouse in neighbouring Gurgaon.
The police had been looking for Mr Kalra since they found over 500 oxygen concentrators from his three restaurants in and near the upscale Khan Market complex – Khan Chacha, Nege and Ju and Town Hall — earlier this month. The medical equipment that can generate high-concentration oxygen, are in high demand because of oxygen shortage in the national capital.
Mr Kalra had approached a Delhi court last week and sought protection from arrest. He said he was willing to join the investigation.
The court, however, said the allegations against him were serious and custodial interrogation was required. Rejecting the bail request, the court said his mobile phone, which allegedly has incriminating WhatsApp chats with customers and details of calls made to other accused, needed to be seized.
The court also pointed out the possibility of Mr Kalra tampering with evidence or intimidating witnesses.
The public prosecutor in the black marketing case had alleged last week that the oxygen concentrators Mr Kalra had been selling were not suited for Covid treatment as they could generate only 20.8 per cent pure oxygen.
Mr Kalra is facing charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy, among others.
Four employees of Matrix Cellular company, including its CEO and vice president, and one employee of Town Hall restaurant had also been arrested in the case – all of them are now out on bail.
Delhi has been dealing with a devastating spell of the coronavirus infections, which has triggered shortages of medical oxygen, hospital beds and essential medicines.
With inputs from PTI