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

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

Embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya said on Wednesday that he met the finance minister before leaving India, a claim denied by Arun Jaitley as "factually false".

However, in a series of tweets Finance Minister Arjun Jaitley labeled Mallya's claim as "false".

However, reacting to this, Jaitley said Jaitley said he had never given Mallya any appointment to meet him since 2014 and "the question of his having met me does not arise".

Vijay Mallya has been charged with money laundering and bank fraud worth Rs 9000 crore and fighting an extradition case. The government should now explain how and why he was allowed to leave and what transpired at those meetings. "People want to know (sic)", Kejriwal said.

Earlier Mallya had said that he met Jaitley and repeated his offer to settle the loans. Afterwards, Mallya clarified he didn't have any formal meeting with Jaitley but had happened to meet Mr. Jaitley in Parliament, telling him about his departure to London. "In this anticipation, he (Mallya) left earlier", Jaitley had said, adding that "it would have been better had banks started the process earlier".

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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.

In a swipe at the government's "sabka saath, sabka vikas" slogan, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the BJP's sole aim now was bhagode ka saath, lootero ka vikas' (helping absconders and enriching looters). But, it was nearly a week by then since Mallya left the country. However, he left to United Kingdom without paying bank debts and Government of India's plans of extradition didn't work out yet. "We need proper disclosures, full inquiries on this", 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.

Terming Mallya's offer to settle overdue loans of more than Rs 9,000 crore to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines as "bluff offers", Jaitley said he did not even take the papers the liquor baron was carrying during that brief encounter.

Marking the conclusion of the trial, Westminster Magistrates' Court Judge Emma Arbuthnot fixed December 10 as the date on which she expects to deliver her verdict.

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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