The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Minority’ defence in scam case

Ahmedabad, June 15 (PTI): The advocate of Zaheer Rana, accused in a multi-level marketing scam, today alleged that his client was being targ-eted by the Gujarat government because of his “minority” status.

Hashim Qureshi, who appeared on behalf of Rana in high court, told a news conference that the state government and the police were settling a “personal score” with the chairman-cum-managing director of Remo Marketing Private Ltd by lodging a “baseless case” against him.

“Just as (the) minority community was targeted during the communal riots, Rana is being targeted in the same manner in this case,” Qureshi alleged.

He also accused state home minister Amit Shah of giving premature statements and indulging in “false propaganda” regarding the company’s debts even as the matter is pending in the metropolitan court and high court. The minister was not available for comment.

Rana has been accused of duping people through a dubious monetary scheme. His bail petition was rejected by a metropolitan court on Friday.

Qureshi claimed that .B. Parmar, an official of the economic wing of the CID (crime), had visited the office premises in May and had given a clean chit to the manner in which business was being conducted.

Qureshi said the firm was sound and had paid back Rs 48 crore out of the Rs 58 crore it owed. The state government and investigating officials have, however, alleged that it owes Rs 200 crore to its 33 lakh members.

The advocate said there is only one complainant in the case and he had received Rs 1 lakh by cheque from Remo Marketing for meeting his target.

“It was only during the second cycle that the complainant felt cheated. He made money in the initial phase of the scheme and was paid completely for it,” Qureshi said, adding that the complainant seemed to be acting at the behest of some people with vested interest.

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