An FIR has been filed against the promoters of Ringing Bells, which claimed to make the world's so-called cheapest smartphone, Freedom 251, alleging them of cheating. The FIR was filed at Noida Phase 3 police station on a complaint filed by BJP MP Kirit Somaiya Tuesday night against the company's director Mohit Goel and president Ashok Chaddha.
According to the Hindustan Times report, a team has been appointed to investigate the case, which would involve Ringing Bells to submit necessary documents and show the manufacturing units of the phone to police, Anup Singh, deputy superintendent of police (Circle Officer 2), Noida, said. A preliminary probe found the MP's FIR a fit for further investigation.
The charges Goel and Chaddha face are filed under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code for cheating, among others, that involve forgery and misleading the common men, small investors and people of India, India Times reported.
Goel issued a statement on the reports of investigation that full compliance would be maintained to overcome any suspicion against Ringing Bells.
"We remain committed to cooperate with any government agency that may require to inquire our organization for any reason or suspicion," Goel told Hindustan Times. "I do maintain that we will deliver the most affordable quality products to our customers through our various range of smart phones, including the Freedom 251."
This isn't the first time Ringing Bells founders were targeted with claims of scam and forgery. Ringing Bells had circulated some units of Adcom phones re-branded as Freedom 251, for which the Adcom founder and chairman Sanjeev Bhatia said the "scam exhibits the potential of maligning our brand name."
In a recent interview with IBTimes India, Chadha had said the company would deliver by June 30, 2016, the first batch of 50 lakh Freedom 251 smartphones to customers who booked it. After facing a lot of criticism, the company issued refunds for 30,000 transactions made by early buyers. The company also introduced cash-on-delivery system to avoid further build-up of suspicions.
The government is also closely monitoring Ringing Bells and would take action if the company failed to hold up its end of the bargain, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said last month. Ringing Bells had received seven crore bookings with 30,000 successful payments for Freedom 251.