New Delhi, Sep 12: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday rubbished the claims made by fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya outside the Westminster Magistrate's Court in London. Jaitley, in his blog statement, said he never gave an appointment for meeting to Mallya when he was in the country. The minister, however, said Mallya made a verbal offer to settle matters outside the Parliament.
"Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise," Jaitley said in a statement. Mallya said he reiterated his offer to settle dues to the finance minister before leaving for the United Kingdom. "I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva. I met the Finance Minister before I left... repeated my offer to settle with the banks. That is the truth," Mallya said outside the Westminster Magistrate's Court. Vijay Mallya Likely To Be Kept In Barack Number 12 Of Arthur Road Jail, Watch Video Of VVIP Cell.
"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”," Jaitley said in response to Mallya's claims.
Mallya, who left India on March 2, 2016, also claimed that he was disliked by both the major parties in India -- the BJP and Congress. "I am a political football... As far as I am concerned, I have made a comprehensive settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court. I hope the honourable judges will consider it favourably." Asked if he could settle his dues, Mallya, who headed the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines and the United Breweries, said: "Obviously. That is why a settlement offer has been made."
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. "I put almost Rs 15,000 crore offer on the table of the Karnataka High Court. I feel like a scapegoat. Both political parties don't like me," he said, adding that the banks had rejected his settlement offers. Vijay Mallya Extradition Trail: IDBI Officials Knew of Losses at Kingfisher, Claims Mallya’s Lawyer.
Mallya is wanted in India for defaulting on bank loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, has been in the UK since March 2016. The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airline boss, who has been on bail on an extradition warrant since his arrest in April last year, is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crores. (With agency inputs)