‘Freedom 251’ MD’s bail plea again rejected

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Ghaziabad, Feb 28 (IANS) A court here on Tuesday rejected, for the second time, the bail plea of Ringing Bells’ former Managing Director Mohit Goel.

The court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) (IIIrd) Lokesh Kumar, which had on Saturday rejected his bail plea but struck down serious charges of forgery and criminal conspiracy against him, turned down his bail plea again, observing that no new situation had arisen for him to get relief.

The court order came even as defence lawyer, D.M. Bhalla argued that Goel should be granted bail as the financial dispute had been resolved with the complainant receiving full and final payment of the outstanding Rs 16 lakh.

Goel was arrested on February 23 after an FIR was filed by Ghaziabad-based Ayam Enterprises, alleging that Ringing Bells defrauded it of Rs 16 lakh.

Police had registered an FIR against Goel and four other directors on February 22 under Indian Penal Code’s Sections 467 (forgery of valuable security, will), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 120b (criminal conspiracy).

Out of these, only the charges of cheating and criminal breach of trust have been retained by the court against Goel and the four others, identified as Anmol Goel, Mohit Goel’s wife Dharna Garg, Ashok Chaddha and Sumit Kumar.

Ringing Bells shot to sudden fame in February last year after it announced to sell smartphones at a remarkably low price of Rs 251 and promised to deliver 2.5 million handsets before June 30.

The company, which received mammoth — over 70 million — registrations before its payment gateway crashed, announced that it had delivered 5,000 ‘Freedom 251′ smartphones to customers in July last year and would deliver 65,000 more to those who had booked the device in cash on delivery mode.

After that, no new numbers were shared. The company has since forayed into making TVs and other smartphones, burying the Freedom 251 dream.

The world’s cheapest phone made a splash across the globe, with almost every big media house writing about the “miracle device”.

Doubts were initially raised over Ringing Bells’ handset after some experts said no smartphone could be manufactured for less than Rs 2,000.

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