The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Polaris mulls legal step against Jakarta bank

Chennai, Dec. 25 (PTI): Returning here in the wee hours of Wednesday, after a week-long detention drama in Indonesia, Polaris chief Arun Jain today said the detention was “pre-planned and premeditated” and the company would decide on initiating legal action against Bank Artha Graha of Indonesia

Addressing a press conference on his return from Jakarta, Jain said that going by the swift events which followed immediately on his landing in Jakarta to solve a commercial dispute with the bank, the detention seemed to be “pre-planned and premeditated”.

The Polaris Software board will be meeting in the next few days to examine the possibilities of initiating legal action, including filing a defamation suit, against the bank, Jain said.

The chief executive said he would have settled the case by paying money to the Bank Artha Graha, “which I didn’t want to do. I did not want to bend backward to settle the issue.”

Describing his Jakarta visit as “adventurous safari”, he said that Polaris had offered to pay $ 6,62,000 back to the bank by way of settlement. But they wanted $ 10 million as compensation.

Jain, who was arrested along with senior vice-president Rajiv Malhotra by the Indonesian police on December 13 over a dispute with the bank, said the Indian government had given a guarantee to the Indonesian police that “we will be available to them for any investigation whenever required. We will value that guarantee if it is required.”

Meanwhile, Jain, is planning to leave for Delhi on Thursday to call on Central ministers and others and thank them for their diplomatic efforts in securing his release from detention in Jakarta.

Official sources said Jain would meet external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha and information technology minister Pramod Mahajan to personally thank them for their ‘whole-hearted’ support.

Jain, who returned to Chennai in the wee hours of today, spent time with his family and took no calls, sources added. Though the duo were released on December 20 thanks to the diplomatic interventions by government, their passports were withheld. The passports were restored on Tuesday, following which they returned to Chennai.

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