Exclusive Images Of Vijay Mallya’s Cell In Arthur Jail

Lamar Ellis
September 13, 2018

The political battle over Vijay Mallya's yesterday's claim of meeting Union Minister Arun Jaitley raged since morning, with the BJP alleging that it was the Congress and the Gandhi family who were close to the fugitive liquor baron.

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. In his response, while Jaitley did not deny meeting Mallya or the latter's offer of settling the bank loans, the finance minister accused the billionaire businessman of abusing the House privileges. Jaitley also issued a clarification over the matter in his Facebook post.

"I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva".

Rahul Gandhi called Mallya's claim "extremely serious allegations".

The statement from the Finance Minister came minutes after Mallya claimed that met Jaitley before fleeing out of the country and offered to settle the amount he owed to the banks.

"Besides this one-sentence exchange where he literally barged on to me while I was walking and tried to make some offer or suggestion which I refused to entertain, there is no question of my having met him, spoken to him..."

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Rahul Gandhi further claimed that his party leader P L Punia saw Jaitley and Mallya "talking discreetly" in the Central Hall of parliament on March 1, 2016.

Rahul Gandhi also questioned Arun Jaitley's silence for nearly two-and-a-half years over his alleged meeting with Mallya. "The statement is factually false in as much as it does not reflect the truth", Jaitley wrote.

In London, talking to reporters, Mallya said the media should question the banks why they are not supporting him in his efforts to repay. I even did not receive any paper from him at that time. This provided the opposition some fodder to target Jaitley and the Congress said that the revelations were an embarrassment to the government. Also, if he felt a declared defaulter of bank loans to the tune of thousands of crores was trying to use his privilege as a Rajya Sabha MP to influence a cabinet minister, he ought to have informed the House about it or shared the information with the media. The second time it was done by the request of the government, he added, citing what he said were letters from the Reserve Bank of India.

Sinha's remarks came soon after Mallya, facing charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore, said in London that he met the finance minister before leaving India past year. "We are taking action as per law to protect our interests", said Bhattacharya.

Mallya has been out on bail on the extradition warrant since his arrest in United Kingdom last April.

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