'The statement is factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth,' Arun Jaitley said.
Mumbai: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed the statement made by Vijay Mallya on having met him with an offer of settlement before leaving the country as “factually false”.
“The statement is factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth. Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise,” Jaitley said in his Facebook blog.
The finance minister said since Mallya was a member of Rajya Sabha and he “occasionally attended the House”, he misused that privilege on one occasion while Jaitley was walking out of the House to go to his room.
Jaitley said Mallya paced up to catch up with him and while walking uttered a sentence that he is “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’,” Jaitley said.
Jaitley added that he did not even receive the papers that Mallya was holding in his hand.
“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,” the finance minister added.
Fugitive liquor baron and boss of defunct Kingfisher Airlines, Vijay Mallya, on Wednesday told reporters outside London’s Westminster Magistrate Court, where his extradition case is being heard, that he that he had met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to “settle matters” with the banks before leaving India.
"I left because I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva, I met the finance minister before I left, repeated my offer to settle with the banks... that's the truth," Mallya said.
After Mallya’s statement, Congress and other opposition parties hit out at the government demanding the details of Vijay Mallya and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s meeting.