Jaitley 'lying', Cong leader saw Mallya 'talking discreetly' to FM: Rahul Gandhi

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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 told media outside of court that he had met Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to settle matters before he left the country. I met the finance minister before I left, repeated my offer to settle with the banks.

After Congress latched onto Vijay Mallya "meeting" Arun Jaitley, the BJP hit back by accusing Rahul Gandhi of "using black money".

Vijay Mallya, 62, who is fighting India's request to the United Kingdom to send him back, is wanted in India for defaulting on loans worth crores and money. "I happened to meet (Mr) Jaitley in Parliament and told him that I am leaving for London".

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.

"As far as I am concerned, I have made a comprehensive settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court. The banks had filed objections to my settlement letters", Mallya said outside the Westminster Magistrates' Court where he had come for a hearing in his extradition case.

"The evidence is capable of sustaining an inference of dishonesty", said CPS barrister Mark Summers, adding that the government of India has proved that Mallya has a "case to answer" before the Indian courts.

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On being asked why the government and the banks are still on his case despite his settlement offer, Mallya put the ball in the banks' court. "My conscience is clear and (I) put nearly Rs15,000 crore worth of assets on the table of the Karnataka High Court", he said.

Mallya has been on bail on an extradition warrant since his arrest in April previous year and is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs9,000 crore.

And more importantly, why did the CBI tweak the look-out notice from detention to just inform around the same period effectively letting Mallya escape easily a week before banks moved the Supreme Court and the issue hogged national headlines?

"Either your passport is impounded or there is an order of a court".

The liquor baron is facing money laundering charges in multi-crore fraud case in India, which wants him extradited from the United Kingdom where he fled to in March 2016.

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.

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