RaGa says FM writes blogs, but didn't mention meeting Mallya
RaGa says FM writes blogs, but didn't mention meeting Mallya
IDBI officials knew of losses at Kingfisher, claims Mallya's lawyer
13 September, 2018, 14:39
Stepping up his attack on Arun Jaitley for allegedly meeting Vijay Mallya before the latter fled to the U.K., Congress president Rahul Gandhi on September 13 accused the Finance Minister of colluding with a "criminal" and not informing the probe agencies, despite having information about the liquor baron's plan to leave the country. Mallya said he met Jaitley and told him to facilitate a settlement deal with banks and, more importantly, also told the finance minister that he was leaving for London. "He (Mallya) was given a free passage out of the country by the Finance Minister", said Rahul. So, obviously the comments are referring his meeting with Arun Jaitley.
In response to Mallya's statement, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the businessman's claim are "factually false" as it does not reflect the truth. I happened to meet Jaitley in Parliament and told him that I was leaving for London.
"Since he was a Member of Rajya Sabha and he occasionally attended the House, he misused that privilege on one occasion, having been fully briefed about his earlier "bluff offers", I curtly told him "there was no point talking to me and he must make offers to his bankers", Jaitley said".
Mallya, who talked to the media outside a London court where he is facing extradition proceedings, said: "I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva". Although Jaitley was quick to release a statement saying the meeting with Mallya was unscheduled and he advised him to meet the banks, the sensational claim raises a larger question that if a senior cabinet minister knew that Mallya was going to fly away to London, could the government have done more to keep him in the country?
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Mark Summers, the lawyer acting for the Indian government, said it was not their case that Mallya had taken out the loans intending that the airline should fail, but his intention was if it did, he would not have to repay them.
Mallya, who faces charges of defrauding banks to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, said he did not file any clemency plea in the Karnataka High Court where he was ready to settle all dues. Earlier in the day, the Enforcement Directorate registered a money laundering case against him and others in connection with the alleged default of loans worth Rs 900 crore from IDBI Bank.
Reportedly, the video submitted by the Indian authorities shows Barrack 12 of Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai where Vijay Mallya will be housed if he is extradited.
The clarification came hours after Jaitley said that he had not granted any formal appointment to Mallya.
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