Arrest warrant issued for India's richest man

Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries, India. (AFP)

A consumer court in India issued a bailable arrest warrant against industrialist Mukesh Ambani, multi-billionaire tycoon and the country’s richest person, for failing to deposit Rs25,000 (Dh1,750) to honour the forum’s earlier ruling in a consumer dispute related to a mobile handset issued by one of his firms.

The warrant was issued as Ambani failed to adhere to the forum’s earlier ruling on a complaint by a customer, Dr Joseph Makkolil, who had purchased a mobile which promised various features from a Reliance retail outlet in 2003. Makkolil reportedly subscribed to the service by spending Rs24,000 that offered free 400 minutes of talktime a month, free SMS, free national roaming, etc.

However, the handset provided by the company was activated only after a couple of months. Not only that, the complainant started receiving huge bills for unused services. The case was filed in 2005 when Ambani was then managing director of Reliance Infocomm. The complainant alleged that the manufacturer had failed to observe the terms and conditions stated and he approached the forum for damages.

However, according to latest reports, Thrissur Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum district president Padmini Sudheesh has recalled the arrest warrant after Ambani’s lawyer deposited the amount and filed an execution petition before the forum that led to the recall of the warrant.

Advocate Ravishankar said the execution petition was filed as Mukesh Ambani was no more the managing director of Reliance Infocom. “Reliance Infocom was merged with Reliance Communications and now Anil Ambani owns it. Also, the arrest warrant was issued on an ex-parte hearing,” he said.

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