Mallya says met Jaitley before leaving India, Minister rejects his claim

Clay Curtis
September 13, 2018

The London court was hearing the closing arguments in the extradition case against Mallya on Wednesday, as well as review the video of jail cell prepared for him by the Indian authorities.

Mallya had told reporters outside a court in London, where he is fighting extradition to India, that he had met Jaitley to settle matters. However, Jaitley rejected the claim, saying Mallya was "factually false". Jaitley also issued a clarification over the matter in his Facebook post.

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.

Rahul Gandhi called Mallya's claim "extremely serious allegations". "Besides this one sentence exchange where he misused his privilege as a Rajya Sabha Member, in order to further his commercial interest as a bank debtor, there is no question of my having ever given him an appointment to meet me", the Finance Minister said.

On being asked if he was "tipped off" to flee the country, he added: "Absolutely not".

"Mr Jaitley is lying; the government is lying", Gandhi said.

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One can forget about Mallya's talk with Jaitley about the settlement part, this was anyway not acceptable for banks since Mallya was offering much less than what the banks claimed he owed them.

He claimed that Rahul Gandhi was on the backfoot in the case of Kingfisher Airlines and its promoter Vijay Mallya as well as the entire Gandhi family travelled on the airline and their travel was upgraded to business class for free.

Recalling the occasion when Mallya "misused" his position as an MP, Jaitley wrote that the fraud accused had paced up to catch up with him when the FM was walking out of the House to go to his room. I even did not receive any paper from him at that time. "There was no need to run and the allegations are media created allegations", he said.

Sinha's remarks came soon after Mallya, facing charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore, said in London that he met the finance minister before leaving India a year ago. Mark Summers, representing India, said that there was a clear case against Mallya and that what Kingfisher "internally knew was radically different" to what was being told to banks regarding the company's status.

Earlier, talking to reporters Mallya said the media should question the banks why they are not supporting him in his efforts to repay. There are CCTV cameras, we can all see that for proof.

Mallya has been out on bail on the extradition warrant since his arrest in United Kingdom last April.

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