Union minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday denied embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya's charge that he had met finance minister before leaving the country in 2016.
Jaitley in a Facebook post said that Mallya’s "statement is factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth".
Mallya, who is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore, said he repeated his offer to finance minister on settling dues with the banks.
Jaitley said Mallya has misused his position as a member of member of Rajya Sabha for his personal gains, “Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise. However, since he was a Member of Rajya Sabha and he occasionally attended the House, he misused that privilege on one occasion while I was walking out of the House to go to my room.”
"He paced up to catch up with me and while walking uttered a sentence that ”I am making an offer of settlement”. Having been fully briefed about his earlier “bluff offers”, without allowing him to proceed with the conversation, I curtly told him “there was no point talking to me and he must make offers to his bankers.” I did not even receive the papers that he was holding in his hand,” Jaitley 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, there is no question of my having ever given him an appointment to meet me,” Jaitley added.
Mallya, who left India on March 2, 2016, also claimed that he was disliked by both the major parties in India -- the BJP and Congress.
"I am a political football... As far as I am concerned, I have made a comprehensive settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court. I hope the honourable judges will consider it favourably."
Asked if he could settle his dues, Mallya, who headed the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines and the United Breweries, said: "Obviously. That is why a settlement offer has been made."
Mallya, who faces charges of defrauding banks, said he did not file any clemency plea in the Karnataka High Court where he was ready to settle all dues.
"I put almost Rs 15,000 crore offer on the table of the Karnataka High Court. I feel like a scapegoat. Both political parties don't like me," he said, adding that the banks had rejected his settlement offers.
(With inputs from IANS)
First Published: IST