The Income Tax department on Friday questioned the employees of Ringing Bells two days after it launched Freedom 251, apparently the world's cheapest smartphone, reports the Hindustan Times.
"We explained to the I-T officials what we are doing and how we are doing it," said Ringing Bells founder Mohit Goel. "I gave them the entire data of my company. I called them to explain my financial status. I had to explain to clear doubts created after complaints were lodged against us. They stayed for about an hour, collected data and left our office."
The I-T department sent its three-member team after noting complaints from people who had pre-ordered the phone, as well as questions from tech and industry experts and a letter from the Indian Cellular Association to the telecom ministry asking it to investigate as it appears almost impossible to sell a smartphone for only Rs 251.
An I-T official who was part of the team said: "Ghaziabad's Vaishali income-tax branch has been asked to conduct an investigation into assets of Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd, which was launched five months ago. There is a complaint against Ringing Bells Company."
The company has allegedly violated several copyrights in the making of this phone, and many buyers who pre-ordered it believe it will not be delivered.
"I have booked six phones and paid Rs 1,746," said student Amit Kumar. "I doubt the intentions of Ringing Bells because no official from the management is coming out to satisfy our queries. The company is not behaving like a responsible one."
Ringing Bells co-founder Ashok Chadha said, "Some people are trying to damage our project by spreading rumours. We will deliver on our promises."