By LE Desk

New Delhi, May 12: A Delhi court has refused to grant interim relief from arrest — the second time in as many days — to businessman and restaurateur Navneet Kalra, who is accused of hoarding and black marketing oxygen concentrators. 

The matter, which was to be taken up on Monday, was pushed back by a day because the police said they did not get a copy of the bail application.

Kalra’s counsel Vineet Malhotra, during the hearing yesterday, urged that coercive action not be taken against his client, a relief that the court refused to grant. Additional sessions judge Sumit Dass said that Kalra’s anticipatory bail will be placed before the district and sessions judge who will decide which court will hear the plea, the Hindustan Times reported.

“Bail application placed before the district judge south east at 10am tomorrow; they will send it to the concerned court. There is no interim relief or any sort of protection to the accused yet,” the judge said.

Kalra has been on the run since the recovery of 524 oxygen concentrators from three of his restaurants — Khan Chacha, Town Hall and Nege & Ju — between Wednesday and Friday, according to investigators. He could not be tracked despite raids being conducted in Delhi and in adjoining states such as Uttarakhand, the police said.

Investigators said that they have evidence which shows the oxygen concentrators were bought for ₹14,000-15,000 and sold at ₹70,000-75,000

During the course of proceedings, public prosecutor Atul Shrivastava said since the matter was transferred to the crime branch after registration of FIR, the court has no jurisdiction.

“On May 7, the court had the power but now since the case has been transferred, it has no jurisdiction over the matter,” Shrivastava argued.

However, advocate Vineet Malhotra, representing Kalra, told the court that the court’s jurisdiction applied because the case was registered at Lodhi Colony police station on May 7.

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