In a major relief to the makers of 'Freedom 251' smartphone, the Allahabad High Court on Friday said the FIR filed against the Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd. - the Noida-based firm that created a global buzz after announcing the launch of the controversial smartphone in February - seemed premature.
A division bench comprising Justices B.K. Narayan and R.N. Mishra ordered that no coercive step be taken against the company's officials and their business till the next hearing on May 18.
During the course of hearing, the bench kept on asking the prosecution lawyers as to how an offence under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was made out against the makers of 'Freedom 251' smartphone but no cogent reply was offered. The court then ordered them to file a reply within two weeks.
Also read : Ringing Bells to ship Freedom 251 smartphone by June 30 for Rs 251
A first information report (FIR) was registered in March against Ringing Bells director Mohit Goel and company president Ashok Chaddha under Section 420 of the IPC as well as the Information Technology (IT) Act on a complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya.
The court also allowed the petitioners the liberty to move an application for the release of their passports.
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