The Delhi High Court Friday allowed businessman Navneet Kalra, an accused in the case of alleged black marketing of oxygen concentrators during the second wave of the Covid-19, to travel abroad on two occasions to attend certain eyewear industry events subject to a security deposit of Rs 50 lakh.
Justice Yogesh Khanna, who was hearing in a petition by the businessman challenging the lookout circular (LoC) issued concerning the money laundering case against him, said that apart from furnishing the security amount, the petitioner will also file an undertaking/affidavit that during the pendency of his petition, he shall not dispose of any of his properties that have been seized by the agency.
The petitioner sought suspension of the LOC issued in the money laundering case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to attend two eyewear exhibitions in Dubai and Milan in Italy.
“The petitioner shall furnish Rs 50 lakh security to the satisfaction of the registrar general of the high court... The petitioner shall file an undertaking/affidavit with respondent no 3 (ED) and the Registrar General of this court that he shall not dispose of any property seized by respondent no 3 during the pendency of the petition. The petitioner is allowed to travel to Dubai to participate in the SAFILO event in Dubai from February 15, 2022, to February 23, 2022, and to the MIDO event in Milan from April 27, 2022, to May 5, 2022,” the court ordered.
The judge asked the central government to inform the petitioner within three days if there are any other LOC in his name apart from the one in question here.
The court also granted time to the ED and the central government to file their response to the petition and listed the case for further hearing on August 17.
ED counsel Asheesh Jain opposed the grant of any interim relief to the petitioner.
Counsel Gurinder Pal Singh said that the petitioner has cooperated with the investigation and has not been summoned since June 8 last year.
He said that the petitioner would comply with any condition imposed by the court to enable him to attend the events which are essential for his eyewear business.
In May last year, ED had filed a money laundering case against Kalra and his associates following a Delhi Police FIR in relation to the alleged hoarding and black marketing of oxygen concentrators.
During a raid amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, 524 oxygen concentrators were recovered from Khan Chacha, Town Hall, and Nege & Ju restaurants owned by Kalra in the national capital.
The businessman was nabbed from Gurugram on May 16, 2021, and formally arrested the next day.
He had been on the run ever since the police raided his restaurants and seized the medical devices.
The police claimed that the concentrators were imported from China and were being sold at an exorbitant price of Rs 50,000 to 70,000 a piece as against its cost of Rs 16,000 to Rs 22,000.
The petitioner was granted bail by Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg in the Delhi police case on May 29 last year.