Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

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

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

"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.

Earlier, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan defended his cabinet colleague and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying absconding businessman Vijay Mallya took "undue advantage of the FM's presence in Parliament corridor".

Earlier in the day, Jaitley, speaking to news agency ANI, said: "I have never given him an appointment. That is the truth", he responded, without naming the minister.

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.

Rahul Gandhi, Mr Patra said, took a loan of Rs 1 crore from Vijay Mallya.

Mallya first spoke about meeting Jaitley during the lunch break when he stepped out for a smoke.

Jaitley, in his long post, said that since 'he (Vijay Mallya) was a Rajya Sabha member and he occasionally attended the House, he misused that privilege on one occasion while I was walking walking out the house to go my room'.

Rahul Gandhi also questioned Arun Jaitley's silence for nearly two-and-a-half years over his alleged meeting with Mallya.

"My attention has been drawn to a statement made to the media by Vijay Mallya on having met me with an offer of settlement. We need proper disclosures, full inquiries on this", he said. I even did not receive any paper from him at that time. "The banks had filed objections to my settlement letters", he had said. "My conscience is clear and (I) put nearly Rs15,000 crore worth of assets on the table of the Karnataka High Court", he said.

"It was a totally innocent statement made by me that I told Jaitley that I was going to London", Mallya said at the end of his extradition case hearing at the court, when the judge fixed December 10 as the date for verdict in the case. "I don't believe I owe you any further details". 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.

"I am a scapegoat".

Mallya's team argued there is no prima facie case, while India presented thousands of pages of documents to substantiate charges of dishonesty and misrepresentation to obtain loans from IDBI, and disbursal of monies for purposes unintended.

SBI along with other lenders also approached the Karnataka High Court appealing for Mallya's arrest and impoundment of his passport.

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