After almost two years, the Noida-based company Ringing Bells which promised to deliver the world’s cheapest phone Freedom 251 at Rs 251, has resurfaced in the news again.
On the FIR of Mohit Goel, Managing Director of Ringing Bells, police on Sunday arrested two people related to the case, according to IANS.
Goel alleged his vendors Vikas Sharma and Jeetu took nearly Rs 3.5 crore in advance from Ringing Bells for delivering handsets but did not deliver “Freedom 251” units to the company.
In February this year, Goel was jailed for six months when some distributors filed a case against him. Now with the fresh arrests, he feels that people will come to know why he failed to deliver the phones.
Goel lamented that the government did not come to his support despite his commitment to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-up India’ initiative by providing every single Indian citizen with a smartphone.
He, however, still feels that that if he gets support from the government, he can still deliver the handsets by March-April next year.
In an earlier interview with IANS, Goel said if the government was willing to dole out Rs 50,000 crore (about $7.5 billion), he can ensure that 750 million of our population would become part of digital India by owning a smartphone at Rs 251.
The company in mid-February 2016, had planned to deliver 2.5 million handsets before June 30, the same year. Ringing Bells received mammoth — over 70 million — registrations before its payment gateway crashed.
After announcing that it had delivered 5,000 ‘Freedom 251’ smartphones to customers in July last year, Ringing Bells said it would deliver 65,000 more to those who had booked the device in cash on delivery (COD) mode.
But no new numbers were shared afterwards.
The company has since forayed into making TVs and other smartphones, burying the Freedom 251 dream.