"Today we have a categorical assertion by Mallya about the number of times he met the finance minister to have some resolution of his dues with banks". "On March 1, 2016, when I was in Central Hall of Parliament House, I witnessed Arun Jaitley and Vijay Mallya talking discretely".
A United Kingdom court on Wednesday fixed December 10 as the date to deliver its verdict on whether beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya can be extradited to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crores. 'So, the question of his having met me does not arise, ' he clarified.
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Jaitley rubbished Mallya's statement, saying he never gave him an appointment since 2014 but the liquor baron misused his position as Rajya Sabha MP to accost him in Parliament. "I hope the honourable judges will consider it favourably; everybody gets paid off and I guess that's the primary objective", said Mallya, who has been on bail on an extradition warrant since his arrest in April past year and is fighting extradition to India.
Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha sumemd up the mood of the nation, when he tweeted, "Not only the finance minister, the entire BJP must come clean on its relations with Vijay Mallya". "I did not even receive the papers that he was holding in his hand". SBI along with other lenders also approached the Karnataka High Court appealing for Mallya's arrest and impoundment of his passport. He has also alleged that banks objected to the settlement application filed by him. The Congress party held a media briefing soon after, with spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi claiming the government was fully complicit in the flight of people such as Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi from the country. Banks went to court for seeking an order.
The claim made by Mallya, facing charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to Rs 9,000 crore, has triggered a political storm, with the Congress saying the government must explain how and why Mallya was allowed to leave India. "That is the truth", he told reporters outside a London court hearing a case for his extradition. Had the government moved the court pushing for Mallya's detention, or directed the investigators including CBI to detain him citing the seriousness of the case, or at least if the CBI hadn't changed the nature of look out notice a few months before the escape, Mallya would not have left the country.
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