Mallya claims he met FM before leaving India, Arun Jaitley rubbishes charge

Arun Jaitley was the Finance Minister in 2016 when Mallya left India

Arun Jaitley was the Finance Minister in 2016 when Mallya left India

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's defence that his meeting with industrialist Vijay Mallya was a passing one does not hold water, the Congress said on Wednesday, demanding full disclosure from the Centre.

Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that for the past 18 months, the Congress had been asserting that not only Mr. Mallya, but Mehul Choksi and so many others had been allowed to leave the country with impunity. "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.

When asked if he has convinced the court that he has the means to pay what he said he will, Mallya said, "Obviously, that is why a settlement offer has been made".

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 previous year.

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

"Today we have a categorical assertion by Mallya about the number of times he met the finance minister to have some resolution of his dues with banks". So, when the Finance Minister gave statements in Parliament on Vijay Mallya issue, he should have mentioned about this meeting with Mallya.

He said Mallya's claim is a vindication of the Congress's stand that the government always knew about the fleeing defaulters.

The Indian government says Kingfisher took out a series of loans from Indian banks, in particular the state-owned IDBI, with the aim of palming off huge losses which Mallya knew the failing airline was going to sustain. Congress added, the Finance minister must reveal details of his alleged meetings with Jaitley.


He said the phrase used by Mallya that "I met the finance minister" does not suggest a passing and casual meeting inside Rajya Sabha. Punia added that he was a witness to the meeting that took place between Arun Jaitley and Vijay Mallya.

"I am certainly a scapegoat, I feel like a scapegoat".

"I have said before that I am a political football".

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

"As far as I am concerned, I have".

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the Indian government, countered this with arguments that Mallya had intended "from the outset" never to repay the loans he sought for his struggling airline and misrepresented its profitability.

Mallya is now an absconder after he fled the country with dues with banks to the extent of over Rs 9,000 crore.

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