Jaitley rubbishes Mallya’s claim of having met him, calls it "factually false"

Irving Hamilton
September 13, 2018

Mallya's defence team had demanded an inspection of the jail cell to ensure it meets the UK's human rights obligations related to extradition proceedings.

The Congress also claimed on its official Twitter handle that Vijay Mallya met Arun Jaitley "several times" before escaping the country to discuss a settlement plan.

Shortly later, Jaitley hit back and rejected Mallya's claim that the fugitive businessman met him before he left India two years ago.

The Minister said 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, he never gave Mallya any appointment to meet him.

The ruling on whether Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya can be extradited from Britain to India to face fraud charges will be given on December 10, a London judge said on Wednesday, after she heard closing submissions in the case.

Vijay Mallya will appear before a London court on Wednesday for a hearing in his extradition case, during which the judge is expected to review a video of the Mumbai jail cell prepared by the Indian authorities for the embattled liquor tycoon.

Not only Finance Minister, the entire BJP must come clean on its relations with Vijay Mallya, BJP rebel Yashwant Sinha said. Responding to the charges, Jaitley said the Mallya's statement is "factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth". "Given Vijay Mallya's extremely serious allegations in London today", said Gandhi on Twitter, "the PM should immediately order an independent probe into the matter".

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Another Congress leader, Anand Sharma, questioned that the government had information on Mallya, but the finance minister didn't mention this in this speech in the Parliament.

His lawyer, Clare Montgomery, told London's Westminster Magistrates Court that the Indian government had failed to provide any substantial evidence to justify extraditing him.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitely in a response said that Mr Mallya misused the privilege of being a Rajya Sabha member on "one occasion". "I did not even receive the papers that he was holding in his hand", Jaitley wrote. What transpired in these meetings? "We need proper disclosures, full inquiries on this", he said. "The nation wants to know", he said, adding that the government was fully complicit in the "flight" of people like Mallya and others from the country.

"They (govt) have to own up to the fact that they allowed this loot to happen and the fact that they are allowing this loot to happen, more are looting", said Yechury.

Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, too, launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Jaitley.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has yet to comment on the Mallya-Jaitley controversy.

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