Jaitley denies Mallya met him before leaving India

  • Jaitley denies Mallya met him before leaving India

Jaitley denies Mallya met him before leaving India

Fugitive businessman and former liquor baron, Vijay Mallya kicked up a storm when he claimed on Wednesday that he had met Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley before fleeing to London. "That is the truth", he told reporters outside a London court hearing a case for his extradition.

Senior Congress leader P.L. Punia said on March 1, 2016, when he was in the Central Hall of Parliament, he had seen Mr. Jaitley and Mr. Mallya talking "discretely".

Jaitley first claimed he never met Mallya, but Mallya met him and informed him that he was going to London, Rahul Gandhi said today. Jaitley also issued a clarification over the matter in his Facebook post.

"I left (India) because I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva".

Rahul Gandhi called Mallya's claim "extremely serious allegations". However, since he was a Member of Rajya Sabha and he occasionally attended the House, he misused that privilege on one occasion while I was walking out of the House to go to my room.

The statement further read, "Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise".

Attacking Rahul Gandhi at a press meet, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesperson Sambit Patra, showing a purported confessional statement of a hawala trader, who alleged that the Congress chief had links with a shell company.

Hours later, though, Mallya clarified his statement, saying he had not met the finance minister "formally" but had merely run into him in Parliament.

Jaitley said Mallya accosted him in Parliament, and that he made "an offer of settlement". "The allegations are media created allegations, unfortunately".

Asked if he could settle his dues, Mallya, who headed the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines and the United Breweries, said: "Obviously".

He said Mallya's claim is a vindication of the Congress's stand that the government always knew about the fleeing defaulters. Under UK rules related to extradition, the judge does not need to establish criminality of the person sought, but has to decide on the basis of evidence presented whether there is a prima facie case to answer in the requesting country.

Earlier, talking to reporters Mallya said the media should question the banks why they are not supporting him in his efforts to repay. "I hope the honourable judges will consider it favourably; everybody gets paid off and I guess that's the primary objective", said Mallya, who is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crores. "We are taking action as per law to protect our interests", said Bhattacharya.