According to the agreement between the company and the depositors, Kamaruddin said an arbitrator should be appointed in case of a disagreement or dispute.
KASARGOD: Manjeshwar MLA M C Kamaruddin, charged with cheating by investors in his gold jewellery business, said he is being targeted by political rivals. In his defence, the IUML leader said though he was the chairman of the Fashion Gold group, which raised money from the public as investment and deposits, he was not running the day-to-day affairs of the business.
Fashion Gold started in 2007 had four jewellery stores — one each in Kasaragod, Cheruvathur, Payyannur and Thalaserry. Six months ago, all four stores were closed down. The MLA, however, refused to reveal the valuation of his company, or how much money did it raise from how many investors. He also did not comment on the allegations that nine mahal committees — a group of mosques — have invested in the group violating Wakf Act.
On Friday, Chandera police registered three cases of cheating (Section 420 of the IPC) on complaints filed by three investors. Together, they had invested `36 lakh.To be sure, the cases were filed with the tacit support of the CPM, which had taken up the “nexus” between the IUML and the mosque committees, and had organised protests in the district.
Earlier, Pookoya Thangal, business partner of the MLA, had illegally sold the school property, owned by Wakf Board to an educational trust run by six IUML leaders, including Kamaruddin. After the sale became controversial, the trust agreed to return the property. Thangal, managing director of Fashion Gold, was also charged with cheating in the three cases.
Kamaruddin said he started the business as a source of income for his political activities. “The business started sliding after demonetisation. But efforts will be taken to repay the money deposited by the people,” he said.
According to the agreement between the company and the depositors, Kamaruddin said an arbitrator should be appointed in case of a disagreement or dispute. “Anybody who is interested in resolving the issue can be the arbitrator. I have asked even the CPM to be the arbitrator,” he said. People invested in it because the business was doing good and he did not use his influence as an IUML leader to attract investment, he said. He added that he was working hard to return the money to the depositors. On the cheating cases against him, Kamaruddin said he would face them legally.