Arun Jaitley slams at Mallya for false claim

Arun Jaitley

The political battle over Vijay Mallya's yesterday's claim of meeting Union Minister Arun Jaitley raged since morning, with the BJP alleging that it was the Congress and the Gandhi family who were close to the fugitive liquor baron. "I met the Finance Minister before I left, repeated my offer to settle (the dues) with the banks", Mallya said while talking to reporters outside Westminster Magistrates' Court. That is the truth.' However, he did not mention that it was Arun Jaitley.

Vijay Mallya has been charged with money laundering and bank fraud worth Rs 9000 crore and fighting an extradition case.

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".

Jaitley said Mallya "misused" the privilege of being a Rajya Sabha MP to catch him in corridors of Parliament. "I did not have any formal meetings scheduled with him", Mallya said.

As soon as Jaitley's clarification came out, BJP leaders attacked Congress by saying "it has clearly exposed the false stand of Congress and Vijay Mallya". "I have made a comprehensive settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court in India and hope the honourable judges will consider it favourably". 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.

Singhvi said the Congress had repeatedly asserted for the past over 18 months that not only Vijay Mallya, but also Nirav Modi, Choksi and many others have been allowed to leave the country with impunity.

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On being asked why the government and the banks are still on his case despite his settlement offer, Mallya put the ball in the banks' court.

"I did not even receive the papers he was holding in his hand", Jaitley said. Banks went to court for seeking an order.

Mark Summers, the lawyer acting for the Indian government, said it was not their case that Mallya had taken out the loans intending that the airline should fail, but his intention was if it did, he would not have to repay them. It also seeks to prove there are no "bars to extradition" and that the tycoon is assured a fair trial in India over his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines' alleged default of over Rs 9,000 crores in loans from a consortium of Indian banks.

Mallya is wanted in India for defaulting on bank loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, has been in the United Kingdom since March 2016.

Swamy in his tweet, back then, had asked that how could Mallya escape the country despite a Look Out Notice (LON) against him.

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