Never gave Vijay Mallya any appointment: Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley was the Finance Minister in 2016 when Mallya left India

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday stepped up his attack on the ruling BJP over business tycoon Vijay Mallya's exit from the country in 2016, demanding that finance minister Arun Jaitley resign over what he called was an act of "collusion" with the fugitive liquor baron. Before leaving I met the finance minister and offered to settle (the issue with the banks), Mallya said, without naming the minister. So, obviously the comments are referring his meeting with Arun Jaitley.

Vijay Mallya has been charged with money laundering and bank fraud worth Rs 9000 crore and fighting an extradition case.

Jaitley has vehemently denied the charge, saying he never gave Mallya any appointment. Afterwards, Mallya clarified he didn't have any formal meeting with Jaitley but had happened to meet Mr. Jaitley in Parliament, telling him about his departure to London.

"It appears through these chain of documents that Kingfisher Airlines was owned not by Vijay Mallya but by the Gandhi family", he added.

He said Mallya, while walking alongside, "uttered a sentence that "I am making an offer of settlement". That is the truth", he told reporters outside a Westminster court where he is contesting an extradition case filed by Indian authorities.

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"My attention has been drawn to a statement made to the media by Vijay Mallya on having met me with an offer of settlement".

Jaitley's clarification that he didn't meet Mallya officially and snubbed his settlement offer isn't enough.

It argues Mallya, who moved to Britain in March 2016, had no intention of repaying money it borrowed from IDBI in 2009 and the loans had been taken out under false pretences, on the basis of misleading securities and with the money spent differently to how the bank had been told. SBI along with other lenders also approached the Karnataka High Court appealing for Mallya's arrest and impoundment of his passport. "I did not even receive the papers that he was holding in his hand".

Why didn't the Modi government, also the owner of banks whom he allegedly defrauded, take precautionary action to make sure Mallya doesn't cross the border?

Mallya is wanted in India for defaulting on bank loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, has been in the United Kingdom since March 2016. 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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