Jaitley denies meeting Mallya after liquor baron's claims outside London court

Jaitley denies meeting Mallya after liquor baron's claims outside London court

Fugitive businessman and former liquor baron, Vijay Mallya kicked up a storm when he claimed on Wednesday that he had met Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley before fleeing to London. Today Mallya spoke to reporters outside London's Westminster Magistrates' Court, where his extradition case is being heard.

Back home, the Congress pounced upon Mallya's comment and demanded that the government explain how the embattled industrialist was allowed to leave India and demanded a thorough inquiry. Jaitley also issued a clarification over the matter in his Facebook post.

Vijay Mallya, who had earlier claimed of meeting the Finance Minister and offering a settlement deal to him, clarified his statement and said, "I did not have any formal meeting scheduled with him".

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi should immediately order an independent probe into Mallya's "extremely serious allegations" and Jaitley should step down while the investigation is underway.

Mallya claimed he met the FM before leaving the country and gave the offer to settle with banks.

"Besides this one-sentence exchange where he literally barged on to me while I was walking and tried to make some offer or suggestion which I refused to entertain, there is no question of my having met him, spoken to him..."

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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. "And therefore, to convey an impression that he met me with an offer of settlement and if this is what he is referring to then this is not correct and he must come out with the complete facts", Jaitley said.

Vijay Mallya stands outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Britain, September 12, 2018. "I hope the honourable judges will consider it favourably; everybody gets paid off and I guess that's the primary objective", said Mallya, who is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crores.

Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said the government was "fully complicit" in the flight of Mallya and Punjab National Bank fraud accused Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi from India.

"I did not even receive the papers he was holding in his hand", Jaitley said. I said I happened to meet Mr Jaitley in Parliament and told him that I am leaving for London. "It might interest you to know, banks have filed objections in the court on my settlement application".

Since his arrest in April past year, Vijay Mallya, has been on bail on an extradition warrant. "Do we need anymore proof that this govt.is in the pocket of crony capitalists".

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