Ever since it announced the $3.6 smartphone last month, India’s Ringing Bells has been embroiled in one controversy after another. While some of it has been its own creation, others have been the result of the intense media spotlight and the ensuing governmental scrutiny. Now, in the latest chapter to the evolving saga, police in the city of Noida, Uttar Pradesh, has announced that it has filed a case (First Information Report, or FIR) against the company based on a complaint lodged by Mr. Kirit Somaiya, a Member of Parliament (MP) of the ruling right-wing party. The case against the company owner, Mr. Mohit Goel and the company president, Mr. Ashok Chaddha, were registered under the IT Act as well as under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deals with cheating.
While the company and its owners have been asked by the police to furnish details regarding the super-affordable smartphone, the company and its management say that they are doing everything in their power to help the investigation move forward, because they have nothing to hide. What’s more, the company is steadfast in its belief that the $3.6 smartphone is indeed economically feasible, thanks to “innovative e-commerce cross-promotions”. According to Mr. Goel, “We remain committed to cooperating with any government agency that may require inquiring our organization for any reason or suspicion. I do maintain that we will deliver the most-affordable quality products to our customers through our various range of smartphones, including the Freedom 251”.
In his message to the media, Mr. Goel also stated that the company is on track to deliver the first lot of the product by June 30, 2016, to all those who pre-ordered it last month. It will be interesting to see if the company will indeed be able to keep its promise, but for now, Mr. Goel, Mr. Chaddha and the rest of the senior management of the company will have a lot on their hands dealing with not just this particular lawsuit but others that may follow, given all the controversy the product itself and the company in general, have generated over the past month or so.