Friday, 16 November, 2018

Jaitley denies Mallya met him before leaving India

Met finance minister before leaving the country Vijay Mallya IDBI officials knew of losses at Kingfisher, claims Mallya's lawyer
Ebony Burgess | 13 September, 2018, 18:04

Mallya's lawyer told Westminster Magistrates Court in London, "IDBI bank officials were well aware of losses at Kingfisher". I never gave him (Mallya) an appointment, never at my office, never at my residence.

The CBI Thursday said it watered down its 16 October, 2015, lookout notice issued against debt-ridden liquor baron Vijay Mallya because it did not consider him a "flight risk".

After Vijay Mallya's claims on Wednesday that he met Arun Jaitley before leaving India in 2016, the finance minister dismissed it as "factually false" and said the tycoon had accosted him in the corridor of parliament.

As soon as Jaitley's clarification came out, BJP leaders attacked Congress by saying "it has clearly exposed the false stand of Congress and Vijay Mallya". 'So, the question of his having met me does not arise, ' he clarified. In this case, Mallya being a Rajya Sabha member should have sought leave of absence from the House before leaving.

He said Mallya, while walking alongside, "uttered a sentence that "I am making an offer of settlement".

Terming Mallya's offer to settle overdue loans of more than Rs 9,000 crore to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines as "bluff offers", Jaitley said he did not even take the papers the liquor baron was carrying during that brief encounter.

In London, talking to reporters, Mallya said the media should question the banks why they are not supporting him in his efforts to repay.

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The lawyer further said, "There is no evidence that Mallya or Kingfisher applied for bank loans with bad intent". No bank, it claims, approached it with a formal complaint accusing Mallya of not paying his debts. As far as I am concerned, I have made a comprehensive settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court.

But when reporters asked Mallya about the condition of the jail after the video of his cell was presented to him by the Indian authorities, Mallya labelled it as "pretty impressive". I feel like a scapegoat.

The extradition trial, which opened at the London court on December 4 a year ago, is aimed at laying out a prima facie case of fraud against Vijay Mallya.

As part of the closing submissions, Mallya's defence team effectively undertook a recap of the entire defence case, also repeating its claim that the case brought against the businessman was politically motivated.

The liquor baron who founded the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, fled to the United Kingdom allegedly when a group of banks launched efforts to recover around Rs. 9,000 crore from him. On 3 March, we heard from the media that he fled the country on 2 March, 2016...

Mallya has been on bail on an extradition warrant since his arrest in April previous year and is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs9,000 crore.

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