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Polaris crisis ends, Jain free

New Delhi, Dec. 20: Polaris Software chief Arun Jain was released today by the Indonesian police but was unable to return to India because his passport was retained by the Indonesian government.

Jain and his colleague Rajiv Malhotra, who were detained last week over a commercial dispute with Bank Artha Graha in Indonesia, were released on Friday morning. Both Jain and Malhotra are currently at the Indian Embassy in Indonesia.

Communications and information technology minister Pramod Mahajan today said: “Jain was hopeful that he would resolve the dispute with the Indonesian bank by early next week. I have spoken to Jain and he is confident that the commercial dispute will be resolved by Monday or Tuesday.”

The Indian embassy has assured the Indonesian authorities that it will not cause any obstruction to the investigations, the minister added.

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) in a release applauded the efforts taken by Mahajan and external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha. Mahajan and Sinha had initiated and completed the necessary arrangements for early release of the two Indian businessmen in Jakarta and had contacted the Indonesian Ambassador in India to resolve the issue at a diplomatic level.

“The solidarity and the support of the entire Indian IT industry has been an important factor in the resolution of this crisis. We would also like to acknowledge the support of the full spectrum of Indian industry on this issue,” the release said.

“Going forward, we hope the issue, which is a commercial one, will be resolved according to the terms of the contract. We expect the Indonesian authorities to permit Jain and Malhotra to travel back to India immediately to rejoin their family,” the statement added.

Nasscom has decided to take up this issue at an industry level with the government and at global platforms such as the WTO to prevent any such future occurrences. Sources in Nasscom said: “The issue relates to a disputed amount of Rs 10 lakh between the Bank and Polaris. The Bank had struck a software upgradation deal with Polaris but the project fell through due to technical differences between two.”

“While Polaris returned the amount for the incomplete work, the bank claimed that it should pay up the whole amount since the software installed would be of no use,” sources added.

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