Mallya says met Jaitley before leaving India, Minister rejects his claim

Speaking to ANI today, Mallya claimed, "I met the finance minister before I left and repeated the offer to pay the banks".

Earlier on Wednesday morning, Mallya responded to the swarm of reporters gathered outside the court in his characteristic manner, saying the "courts will decide". He, however, refused to divulge any further details about his conversation with the Finance Minister. FM meets Vijay Mallya before he flees India.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rejected Vijay Mallya's claim that he had met the absconding bank fraud accused before he fled the nation in March 2016.

"I was standing during the lunch break and I happen to answer a question on the circumstances under which I flew out".

"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 said Mallya, while walking alongside, "uttered a sentence that "I am making an offer of settlement". People want to know". "The banks had filed objections to my settlement letters", he had said.

On Thursday, he further asked: "I learn from my sources that the Lookout Notice issued by CBI for Mallya was modified from "Block Departure" to "Report Departure" on October 24, 2015 on orders from someone in MoF". I feel like a scapegoat.

"I am a political football..."

Mallya's defence team also rubbished the video of Barrack 12 at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai, where the businessman is to be held if he was to be extradited to India, as having been freshly painted to give the perception of brightness that did not exist.

But when reporters asked Mallya about the condition of the jail after the video of his cell was presented to him by the Indian authorities, Mallya labelled it as "pretty impressive".

Mallya has been out on bail on the extradition warrant since his arrest in United Kingdom last April.

Nirav Modi is at the centre of a money laundering case linked to the over Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.

"There is a reason why Rahul Gandhi has formed a MahaGathBandhan with Vijay Mallya and relies on such fugitives' statements - ever since the @narendramodi govt brought in the Fugitive Economic Offender's Law - Bhagodas and potential bhagodas are feeling anxious", Poonawalla alleged.

Mallya has now been bailed to appear before the court on December 10, marking the conclusion of the year-long extradition trial which opened on December 4 last year.

The liquor baron who founded the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, fled to the United Kingdom allegedly when a group of banks launched efforts to recover around Rs. 9,000 crore from him.

Vanessa Coleman

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