Jaitley rubbishes Mallya’s claim of having met him, calls it “factually false”
New Delhi, Sep 12: With Vijay Mallya having claimed that he met Arun Jaitley before leaving the country, the Finance Minister on Wednesday said the fugitive liquor baron's statement "is factually false". Jaitley, however, said that once in Parliament Mallya tried to strike a conversation with him over the settling of debts, to which the Finance Minister said that the former Kingfisher chief should talk to banks.
"My attention has been drawn to a statement made to the media by Vijay Mallaya on having met me with an offer of settlement. The statement is factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth. Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise," Jaitley wrote in a Facebook post.
Mallya, speaking to the media outside Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, on Wednesday said he met Jaitley before leaving the country and also made an offer of settlement.
"However, since he was a Member of Rajya Sabha and he occasionally attended the House, he misused that privilege on one occasion while I was walking out of the House to go to my room. He paced up to catch up with me and while walking uttered a sentence that "I am making an offer of settlement". Having been fully briefed about his earlier "bluff offers", without allowing him to proceed with the conversation, I curtly told him "there was no point talking to me and he must make offers to his bankers." I did not even receive the papers that he was holding in his hand," Jaitley wrote.
"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 further said.
The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss, who has been on bail on an extradition warrant since his arrest in UK last April, is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs. 9,000 crores.
At the previous hearing in July in the Westminster Magistrates' Court in, Judge Emma Arbuthnot had asked the Indian authorities to submit a "step by step video" of the Barrack 12 of Arthur Road Jail for "the avoidance of doubt" over the availability of natural light in the cell where the businessman is expected to be detained pre-trial, during trial and in the event he is convicted by the Indian courts.