Mallya claims he met FM before leaving India, Arun Jaitley rubbishes charge

Howard TerrySep 13, 2018

The remarks also come on the back of charges by the Opposition that the government lax attitude had allowed "defaulters" such as Mallya to flee the country.

Shortly after the story surfaced, the union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took to his official Facebook page saying that the statement made by Vijay Mallya to media is "factually false", adding that he has not given him any appointment in since 2014.

Fugitive business tycoon Vijay Mallya, wanted in India for his alleged role in a multi-crore bank loan fraud case, on Wednesday sought to drag Finance Minister Arun Jaitley into controversy by claiming that he met him before he left the country in 2016, which the minister called "factually false". "Everybody gets paid off and I guess that's the primary objective", he said. However, he left to United Kingdom without paying bank debts and Government of India's plans of extradition didn't work out yet. Mallya, in a statement, leaves a hint that he would want to move to United Kingdom "to be closer to his family" and is still in dialogues with banks for a One Time Settlement. "In this anticipation, he (Mallya) left earlier", Jaitley had said, adding that "it would have been better had banks started the process earlier".

On 26 February: In a text message to Firstpost, the then SBI chairman, Arundhati Bhattacharya said the bank is taking further action in the context of Mallya hinting to leave the country.

Jaitley said Mallya "misused" the privilege of being a Rajya Sabha MP to catch him in corridors of Parliament on one occasion while he was walking out of the House to go to his room. "That is the truth", he told reporters outside a Westminster court where he is contesting an extradition case filed by Indian authorities.

"I put nearly Rs 15,000 crore offer on the table of the Karnataka High Court".

He said Mallya, while walking alongside, "uttered a sentence that "I am making an offer of settlement". I feel like a scapegoat.

Terming Mallya's offer to settle overdue loans of more than Rs 9,000 crore to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines as "bluff offers", Jaitley said he did not even take the papers the liquor baron was carrying during that brief encounter.

In an 8-minute long video accessed exclusively by News18, pictures of barrack number 12 of Arthur Road jail in Mumbai were leaked.

The liquor baron is facing money laundering charges in multi-crore fraud case in India, which wants him extradited from the United Kingdom where he fled to in March 2016.

The extradition trial, which opened at the London court on December 4 previous year, is aimed at laying out a prima facie case of fraud against Vijay Mallya.

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