Polaris Arun Jain Heads Back Home

Chennai: | Updated: Dec 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
After 12 days of detention in Indonesia, Polaris Software Labs Ltd (Polaris) chief executive officer Arun Jain and senior vice-president Rajiv Malhotra are expected to return to India on Tuesday night, according to a communication by the company. Mr Jain and Mr Malhotra were held by the Indonesian Police on the basis of a complaint by Bank Artha Graha over a software implementation dispute. Industry analysts attribute the release to the diplomatic pressure by New Delhi on Jakarta.

Early on Tuesday, passports of the two Polaris officials were handed over, paving the way for their return to India. It may be recalled that the officials were released by the Indonesian police late last week but their passports were withheld.

The issue has brought to light the dangers of doing business in regions which do not respect commercial agreements and use criminal laws to tackle commercial disputes. The incident brought together the Indian government, industry associations and many others in their effort to get the Polaris officials back.

The Indonesian bank charged Polaris with alleged fraud, which the Chennai-based firm denied. However, Polaris admitted that certain project milestones may have been missed. The agreement provided for arbitration in Singapore. The contract had a revenue potential of less than $1 million (Rs 4.8 crore) a year. The bank had paid Polaris $6,62,000 for its services and claimed damages of $10 million.