In the wake of the controversy surrounding liquor baron Vijay Mallya claiming to have met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before fleeing to London, the Congress on Thursday accused Jaitley of striking a deal with Mallya and asked him to resign. He told, "I left because I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva".
Jaitley said Mallya "misused" the privilege of being a Rajya Sabha MP to catch him in corridors of Parliament. "I have made a comprehensive settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court in India and hope the honourable judges will consider it favourably".
The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss told reporters in London that he met the minister and offered to settle with the banks.
Terming Mallya's offer to settle overdue loans of more than Rs 9,000 crore to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines as "bluff offers", Jaitley said he did not even take the papers the liquor baron was carrying during that brief encounter.
In a lookout circular issued on 16 October 2015, CBI said if Mallya tries to leave the country, he should be detained at the exit point.
Mallya's defence team has deposed a series of expert witnesses to claim he had no "fraudulent" intentions and that he is unlikely to get a fair trial in India. "There was no need to run and the allegations are media created allegations", he said. I said I happened to meet Mr Jaitley in Parliament and told him that I am leaving for London.
It was alleged that the CBI had been "forced to file charges" and once again referred to a newspaper report against CBI chief Rakesh Asthana, which had claimed that he influenced the heads of the state-run banks and threatened them with reprisals if action was not taken against Mallya. "Both political parties don't like me", he said.
"The government of India case that there was some secret pocket of knowledge about losses within Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) which were not revealed to the banks is utterly unfounded", said Montgomery. "My conscience is clear and (I) put nearly Rs 15,000 crore worth of assets on the table of the Karnataka High Court", he said.
Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya might not be lodged in the same cell as shown in the eight-minute video submitted by the Indian government in the Westminster Court in London. I feel like a scapegoat.
Recalling an instance 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 have no comment, you are hearing everything in court", he added on further questions by the reporters.
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.