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

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Appearing before London court Vijay Mallya on Wednesday said he had met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to settle matters before leaving India

"That is the truth", he told reporters outside a London court hearing a case for his extradition.

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. Jaitley also issued a clarification over the matter in his Facebook post.

Earlier in the day, Jaitley, speaking to news agency ANI, said: "I have never given him an appointment".

However, the liquor baron's serious allegations have given the Congress enough ammo to target the Finance Minister.

On 26 February: In a text message to Firstpost, the then SBI chairman, Arundhati Bhattacharya said the bank is taking further action in the context of Mallya hinting to leave the country. In a statement, Jaitley said he had never given an appointment since 2014 to Mallya, who "misused" his privilege as a member of Rajya Sabha by trying to talk to him about an offer of settlement.

On being asked if he was "tipped off" to flee the country, he added: "Absolutely not. 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", said Jaitley. "The allegations are media created allegations, unfortunately". This is Vijay Mallya's cell where the fugitive businessman is supposed to be lodged.

Mallya, who faces charges of defrauding banks to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, said he did not file any clemency plea in the Karnataka High Court where he was ready to settle all dues. "He has to explain why when a criminal has told him he is running away to London, he has done nothing", Gandhi said, addressing a press conference at the party headquarters.

"The entire Gandhi family was in fact helping Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines with the sweet deal", Patra said, while showing a bunch of documents related to the loans given by banks to the airline. This provided the opposition some fodder to target Jaitley and the Congress said that the revelations were an embarrassment to the government.

"I did not even receive the papers he was holding in his hand", Jaitley said. Mallya, in a statement, leaves a hint that he would want to move to United Kingdom "to be closer to his family" and is still in dialogues with banks for a One Time Settlement.

Mallya has been on bail on an extradition warrant since his arrest in April previous year, responded to the swarm of reporters gathered outside the court in his characteristic manner, saying the "courts will decide". Judge Emma Arbuthnot said she had seen the video three times and did not direct court officials to show it.

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