New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday rebuffed the claims by fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya that "he met the Finance Minister before he left for London".
Speaking to ANI on Mallya's claim, Jaitley said, "I have seen the statement of Vijay Mallya where he claims to have met me with an offer of settlement. Nothing could be further from truth. I never gave him (Mallya) an appointment, never at my office, never at my residence. Nor I was ever offered to meet him."
Recalling the only one instance from the past, Jaitley said, "I do remember on one occasion, he misused his privileges of Member of Rajya Sabha and while I was walking from the Rajya Sabha to my room and (he) suggested that he was going to make some offer of settlement. I did not even bother to get details from him. I curtly told him that he must go and make it to the bankers because I was fully aware that he had no intentions to pay back the bankers money. He tried to make some offer or a suggestion which I refused to entertain. There is no question of my ever met him or spoken to him. I did not even receive any paper from him at that time and therefore to convey the impression that he met me with an offer of settlement. Well! If this is what he is referring to then I am sure this is factually not correct, he must come out with facts."
This comes after Mallya, who left India in March 2016 claimed in London on Wednesday that he had met the Finance Minister before leaving India. "I met the Finance Minster before I left," Mallya claimed outside Westminster Magistrates' Court where his extradition case is being heard.
Mallya, who is wanted in India for defaulting on bank loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, has been in the UK since March 2016. He was arrested by the Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant in April this year.