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Polaris may sue Indonesian bank
December 25, 2002 13:25 IST
The Polaris Software board would be meeting in the next few days in Chennai to examine the possibility of initiating legal action, including a defamation suit, against the Indonesian bank under whose instructions company CEO Arun Jain was detained for a week.
Addressing a press conference in Chennai past midnight on his return from Jakarta, where he had been detained, Jain said the detention seemed to be 'pre-planned and premeditated' going by the swiftness with which events took place following his landing in Jakarta to solve a commercial dispute with the bank.
Describing his Jakarta visit as an 'adventurous safari', he said Polaris had offered to pay $662,000 back to the bank, but they wanted $10 million as compensation to settle the dispute.
Jain, who was arrested along with the company's senior vice-president Rajiv Malhotra by the Indonesian police on December 13 over the dispute with the bank, said the Indian government had given a guarantee to the Indonesian police that 'we would be available to them for investigation whenever required. We will honour that guarantee'.
A complaint had been filed by the Indonesian police against Polaris under sections 372 and 378 (dishonesty and fraud), Jain said. The police is also examining whether the present case is a civil or a criminal one, he added.
Thanking External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha, Information Technology Minister Pramod Mahajan, NASSCOM and Indian embassy officials in Jakarta for their 'wholehearted support' in handling the crisis, Jain said the commercial dispute with the bank could be settled only through proper arbitration and legal proceedings.
"As expressed and clearly understood by both the parties in the contract, the dispute can be arbitrated and resolved only under Singapore law," he said.
In his nearly an hour-long press meet, Jain dwelt at length on the events that took place right from the day he landed in Jakarta till his return to Chennai on Tuesday night.
At one point, he said a police station was more comfortable than the board room of the bank, which was a frontal organisation of the Indonesian army. "It is still unclear to me as to why our passports were seized by the police," he said.
Jain, who was flanked by Malhotra, said the Jakarta trip also taught him a lesson -- as to whom to trust and whom not to trust, whether it was a lawyer or a friend.
Asked whether Polaris would venture into business deals with any other company in Indonesia in future in view of his bitter experience, he said Indonesia was a big country with nearly 220 million people.
"We can't ignore such a big country for long, but it will be difficult for us at least for the next few months to deal with that country in any matter of business," he admitted.
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