Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has dismissed Vijay Mallya’s claim that he had met him and offered to settle his financial dues before leaving India. Jaitley said the claims made by the embattled liquor baron is factually false and does not reflect the truth.
“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,” wrote Jaitley in his facebook post.
The finance minister added that he never gave Mallya any appointment and that he had misused his privilege as an MP and caught him on corridors of Parliament House. “Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise. 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,” Jaitley wrote.
“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. 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,” wrote Jaitley.
Read | Vijay Mallya claims he met Finance Minister before leaving India
Earlier in the day, the 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airline boss, who appeared before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in a case regarding his extradition to India to face the trial on fraud and money laundering charges, was asked by reporters if he was “tipped off” to leave the country. To this, Mallya replied, “I left because 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,” he responded, without naming the minister.