Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Arun Jaitley slams at Mallya for false claim

Vijay Mallya claims he met Finance Minister before leaving India Arun Jaitley rubbishes charge IDBI officials knew of losses at Kingfisher, claims Mallya's lawyer
Gerardo Duncan | 13 September, 2018, 18:01

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". No bank, it claims, approached it with a formal complaint accusing Mallya of not paying his debts.

"These statements have been made just a few days after Rahul Gandhi returned from London. These letters show us how the previous dispensation under Sonia Gandhi was biased, partial and kept all norms and regulations at bay to give a sweet deal to Kingfisher Airlines", he alleged.

Arun Jaitley, who was the finance minister in 2016 when Mallya left India, denied the liquor baron's claim. It should be found out. A while back, he was brought under the ambit of the new fugitive economic offenders' law.

Meanwhile, his colleague RS Prasad wondered if Mallya and Rahul Gandhi were "working in tandem".

He added that the meeting between Jaitley and Mallya lasted for 15-20 minutes. "Finance minister Jaitley must resign and this should be investigated", he said. Mallya also said he was not "tipped off" by anyone to flee the country.

After the CBI changed the lookout notice, the Bureau of Immigration did not make any attempt to stop him from travelling overseas, and every time he did, the agency was duly informed about it.

Congress and other opposition parties latched onto Mallya's statement to question the government about the circumstances in which the defaulter businessman fled the country. Later, Vijay Mallya too backtracked, confirming the minister's version of events. The government should now explain how and why he was allowed to leave and what transpired at those meetings. "People want to know", Kejriwal said on Twitter. "Another question is who converted an arrest notice into inform notice?" Mallya is wanted in India for allegedly defaulting on bank loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore. Whether it was - a casual meeting or a structured meeting.

Claire Montgomery, representing Mallya, reiterated that the prosecution had failed to make out a case against her client.

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said Mallya's escape reconfirmed how Modi government "enables big defaulters to loot public money and scoot".

The lookout circular depends on the issuing authority and, unless they ask Bureau of Immigration to detain a person or to stop him from boarding a plane, no action is taken. "PM and FM must respond on this", Yadav said in a tweet.

"I did not even receive the papers he was holding in his hand", Jaitley said.

The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airline boss, who arrived to appear before the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, told reporters that he had met the minister and offered to settle the issue with the banks.

Vijay Mallya leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Britain, September 12, 2018. The judge has set December 10 as the next date, which is when a verdict is expected.

Once again the finance minister chose Facebook to post his reaction in response to Mallya's bombshell. And since Mallya had been cooperating, there was no reason to stop him from travelling overseas, they said.

In 2016, Arun Jaitley had said that there is a legal process to stop somebody from going overseas.

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