Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday reacted to embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya's claim that he met him before leaving India and said that "the statement is factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth."
"My attention has been drawn to a statement made to the media by Vijay Mallaya (sic) on having met me with an offer of settlement," Jaitley said in a Facebook post.
The finance minister said that Mallya "misused" his privilege of being a member of the Rajya Sabha and "paced to catch up" with him while he was walking out of the Rajya Sabha.
"I had never given him an appointment, never at my office and never at my residence, nor have I ever offered to meet him," Jaitley further told ANI.
— ANI (@ANI) September 12, 2018
Apart from the encounter which Jaitley claimed to have described in his Facebook post, the finance minister said, "There is no question of my having ever met him, spoken to him. I even did not receive any paper from him at that time. And therefore, to convey an impression that he met me with an offer of settlement is factually not correct.
The finance minister also lashed out at the Congress for its remarks over the issue and said, "They (Congress) cannot even understand the kind of honest politics practised by people like us."
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.
"I left India because I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva. Before leaving, I met the finance minister and offered to settle (the issue with the banks), Mallya said, without naming Jaitley.
Jaitley was the finance minister in 2016 when Mallya left India.
Mallya also said that he had made a "comprehensive settlement" offer before the Karnataka High Court that will help in paying off all his dues.
The former Kingfisher Airlines boss, who has been on bail on an extradition warrant since his arrest last April, responded to the swarm of reporters gathered outside the court in his characteristic manner and said the "courts will decide".
"I hope the honourable judges will consider it favourably; everybody gets paid off and I guess that's the primary objective,” said Mallya, who is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore.
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Updated Date: Sep 13, 2018 07:36:54 IST