Friday, 16 November, 2018

IDBI officials knew of losses at Kingfisher, claims Mallya's lawyer

Met finance minister before leaving the country Vijay Mallya IDBI officials knew of losses at Kingfisher, claims Mallya's lawyer
Glenn Montgomery | 13 September, 2018, 14:38

Embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya said Wednesday he met the Finance Minister before leaving India.

The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airline boss' defence team, led by Clare Montgomery, opened the day by branding the government of India's evidence presented in the case as "utterly unfounded". I met the finance minister before I left, repeated my offer to settle with the banks. So, obviously the comments are referring his meeting with Arun Jaitley.

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. I happened to meet Jaitley in Parliament and told him that I was leaving for London.

Jaitley, however, said he never gave Mallya an appointment after becoming a minister in 2014, but the liquor baron misused his position as an MP to accost him once in Parliament.

In a statement, the minister had said that Mallya did try to start a conversation when he was on his way out of the Rajya Sabha and recalled "curtly" telling him that he should talk to the banks about his outstanding loans.

"He paced up to catch up with me and while walking uttered a sentence that "I am making an offer of settlement".

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 added that the meeting between Mr. Jaitley and Mr. Mallya lasted for 15-20 minutes. "I did not even receive the papers that he was holding in his hand". When Mallya was asked about Rahul Gandhi's statements that he had been allowed to flee, he said that he was not tipped off by anyone.

In London, talking to reporters, Mallya said the media should question the banks why they are not supporting him in his efforts to repay. The Rs 9,000-crore loan given by 17- state-run banks to the failed Kingfisher airline had turned an NPA (Non-performing asset) long back in 2011-2012 and a bank consortium was very close to moving Supreme Court seeking Mallya's detention fearing he'll escape the country.

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.

"Sometimes it seems the airline was not owned by Mallya, but by the Gandhi family in proxy", BJP spokesman Sambit Patra said, adding that Rahul Gandhi, who is out on bail in the National Herald case, had no right to question others on corruption. He then came to Delhi and met someone who was powerful enough to change the Notice from blocking his departure to just reporting his departure.

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