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

Vijay Mallya claims he met Finance Minister before leaving India Arun Jaitley rubbishes charge

Vijay Mallya claims he met Finance Minister before leaving India Arun Jaitley rubbishes charge

Embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya said on Wednesday that he met the finance minister before leaving India and told him he's going to London, a sensational claim denied by Arun Jaitley as "factually false". At one point, she told the court that Rakesh Asthana, CBI special director, went to heads of banks with reprisals to file cases against Mallya.

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. In fact Mallya had misused access as an MP to accost him in a corridor in Parliament to claim he had made an offer of settlement for outstanding loans, Jaitley had said. Jaitley also issued a clarification over the matter in his Facebook post.

Mallya, who talked to the media outside a London court where he is facing extradition proceedings, said: "I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva".

Rahul Gandhi called Mallya's claim "extremely serious allegations". I met the finance minister before I left, repeated my offer to settle with the banks.

Jaitley added that Mallya, a member of the Rajya Sabha, occasionally attended Parliament and that he "misused" that privilege on one occasion. "Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise".

On being asked how he plans to repay the banks with his assets being frozen, Mallya said that the decision in this regard will have to be taken by the Enforcement Directorate. "He has to explain why when a criminal has told him he is running away to London, he has done nothing", Gandhi said, addressing a press conference at the party headquarters.

"My attention has been drawn to a statement made to the media by Vijay Mallya on having met me with an offer of settlement". FM meets Vijay Mallya before he flees India.

"I did not even receive the papers he was holding in his hand", Jaitley said.

The hearing began with television screens in the courtroom switched on to show a video submitted by India of conditions at Mumbai's Arthur Road jail, where Mallya is to be held if extradited.

Congress and other opposition parties latched onto Mallya's statement to question the government about the circumstances in which the defaulter businessman fled the country. 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. "Do we need anymore proof that this govt.is in the pocket of crony capitalists".

Mallya, 62, is fighting numerous lawsuits in the United Kingdom and back home over fraud and money-laundering allegations as well as an extradition to India.

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