Jaitley denies Mallya met him before leaving India

Frederick Owens
September 13, 2018

On Wednesday, 12th September, Mallya reached the London's Westminster Magistrates court where it has been made a decision to announce the verdict for fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya's extradition case on the 10th of December.

Congress lawmaker P L Punia, who also addressed the press conference, said: "I have clearly stated about this (Vijay Mallya meeting Arun Jaitley) in each of my interview with media".

Mallya claimed he met the FM before leaving the country and gave the offer to settle with banks.

"Mr Jaitley is lying; the government is lying", Gandhi said. In his response, while Jaitley did not deny meeting Mallya or the latter's offer of settling the bank loans, the finance minister accused the billionaire businessman of abusing the House privileges.

"Besides this one-sentence exchange where he literally barged on to me while I was walking and tried to make some offer or suggestion which I refused to entertain, there is no question of my having met him, spoken to him..."

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.

Further alleging "collusion" between Jaitley and Mallya, the Congress president demanded resignation of the Finance Minister. "There was no need to run and the allegations are media created allegations", he said. Indian authorities wouldn't have been in a situation to endlessly wait outside United Kingdom court rooms to get a favourable judgment for Mallya's extradition and even make a presentation to United Kingdom judges about the facilities an conditions of Indian jails. I even did not receive any paper from him at that time.

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The Congress also said on its official Twitter handle that Mallya met Jaitley "several times" before escaping the country to discuss a settlement plan. "Everybody gets paid off and I guess that's the primary objective", he said. I feel like a scapegoat.

He sarcastically described the video of Barrack 12 at Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail, which has been prepared for him, as "very impressive".

The claim made by Mallya, facing charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to Rs 9,000 crore, has triggered a political storm, with the Congress saying the government must explain how and why Mallya was allowed to leave India.

"I have no comment, you are hearing everything in court", he added on further questions by the reporters.

During the hearing, Mallya's defence team branded the evidence presented by the Indian government in the case as "utterly unfounded".

Mallya reportedly told the court the same thing during his hearing today.

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