Liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya said Wednesday that he had met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving India. However, Jaitley rejected the claim, saying Mallya was "factually false".
The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airline boss, who arrived to appear before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, told reporters that he had met the minister and offered to settle the issue with the banks.
"I left India because I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva. Before leaving I met the finance minister and offered to settle (the issue with the banks), Mallya said, without naming the minister.
However, reacting to this, Jaitley said Jaitley said he had never given Mallya any appointment to meet him since 2014 and "the question of his having met me does not arise".
"My attention has been drawn to a statement made to the media by Vijay Mallya on having met me with an offer of settlement. The statement is factually false inasmuch as it does not reflect truth," he said in a Facebook
"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'," the Minister said.
Jaitley said 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."
The Minister 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, he never gave Mallya any appointment to meet him.