Naveen Kalra, who is now accused of black-marketing oxygen concentrators, was patronised by the then Congress government. In 2006, a question was asked in the Rajya Sabha that inquired from the then Urban Development Minister, Ajay Maken, by Tarlochan Singh whether it was a fact that Union Urban Development Minister nominates persons to become permanent members of Delhi Golf Club. Further, the question asked which individuals were nominated to the Golf Club between 2004-05 and 2005-06 and what was criteria were followed in their nomination.
To this question, Ajay Maken from the Congress responded with the names of those who had been nominated to the Golf Club by the Congress government.
In his response, Ajay Maken responded that the government had nominated Robert Vadra, the national son-in-law, JM Hans, the head of the ENT Department at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Navneet Kalra of Khan Market.
It further explained the Minister had recommended that the Club accepts two ‘out of turn’ members every year and one of the members that the government had nominated was Navneet Kalra, who is now accused of black-marketing oxygen concentrators amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who is Navneet Kalra, the man accused of black-marketing oxygen concentrators in Delhi
The Delhi police had issued a lookout notice for absconding Delhi restaurateur Navneet Kalra. Kalra, who is accused in the Khan market oxygen concentrators black-marketing racket, has been on the run ever since Delhi police raided his chain of upscale restaurants in posh localities of Delhi and farmhouse and recovered over 500 oxygen concentrators.
Earlier, Delhi Police had seized over 450 oxygen concentrators in multiple raids across the city. Among this, as many as 419 machines were recovered from businesses owned by well-known businessman Navneet Kalra. During the raids on Thursday, 32 oxygen concentrators with 9 and 5 litres capacity were found at the Nege & Ju bar, owned by Kalra. After police arrested three persons from the bar, they led the police to Khullar Farm in Mandi Village, where 387 more units were seized.
On Friday, Delhi Police raided other businesses owned by Kalra and recovered more oxygen concentrator. They seized 9 concentrators from the Town Hall restaurant and bar at Lodhi Colony, and 96 units were found at the popular Khan Chacha eatery in Khan Market. Thus, a total of 524 units have been seized from restaurants owned by Kalra so far.
The first raid was conducted after the police received a tipoff from a WhatsApp message where Navneet Kalra had sent his account details to his acquaintances in lieu of a concentrator. According to police, during their raid at Nege & Ju bar yesterday, they found one person working on a laptop and handling orders of oxygen concentrator by ‘Xpect Everything online portal’. Police have said that oxygen concentrators were taken via the online portal as well as through WhatsApp groups.
Navneet Kalra imported the oxygen concentrators from China at around Rs 20,000-25,000, and sold them in Delhi for at least Rs 70,000, making a huge profit when the demands for the machines are very high in the city due to the shortage of oxygen for Covid-19 patients. Reportedly, they have sold around 50 units so far.
Navneet Kalra owns several eateries in Delhi and owns the retail chain Dayal Opticals, which was founded by his father Dayal Dass Kalra. His restaurants among the most well known in Delhi, and are frequented by VIPs like celebrities and politicians.