American Chamber of Commerce today expressed concern over the detention of William Scott Pinckney, the India head of US-based direct-selling major Amway, pointing towards a conspiracy angle and urging for framing immediate legislation for the direct selling industry.
"Amcham remains concerned with the arrest of Bill Pinckney, CEO & MD of Amway India, since May 26. He is an expatriate, a senior citizen (65 years old), and has worked in India since 1998. To jail a senior member of the Corporate community for 60 days merely on receipt of an unconfirmed complaint is unheard of," Amcham India said.
"The documents presented to us indicate that not one, but six FIRs have been filed, five of which in a span of 10 days across various police stations in Telangana. The text used in all six is almost carbon copies of each. Clearly, this is a conspiracy and a gross abuse of Indian laws," it added.
The chamber pressed for clear guidelines for direct sellers in India to avoid such arrests in the future.
"The arrest of Bill Pinckney reflects the lack of policies for this (direct selling) industry which provides livelihoods to over 5 million Indians- majority of whom are women. There is an immediate need for guidelines or legislation for direct selling, which forms a part of internal trade, and hence is a state subject," Amcham said.
Pinckney was arrested by the Andhra Pradesh police in May in connection with a criminal case filed against the company and remanded to 14-day judicial custody by a court in Kurnool district. It faces nine criminal cases in the state.