Jaitley was quick to dismiss any official meeting with Mallya, but has confirmed this unofficial encounter at Parliament.
In response to Mallya's statement, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the businessman's claim are "factually false" as it does not reflect the truth. In a statement, Jaitley said he had never given an appointment since 2014 to Mallya, who "misused" his privilege as a member of Rajya Sabha by trying to talk to him about an offer of settlement.
He wrote, "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". The war of words between the ruling BJP and the Congress was triggered after Mallya's statement yesterday that he had met Jaitley before leaving for the UK. "We need proper disclosures, full inquiries on this", he said.
He said Mallya's claim is a vindication of the Congress's stand that the government always knew about the fleeing defaulters. Hours after Mallya made claims outside the London's Westminster Magistrates' court, Congress president Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and called allegations made by Mallya very serious.
"I did not even receive the papers he was holding in his hand", Jaitley said.
Earlier, talking to reporters Mallya said the media should question the banks why they are not supporting him in his efforts to repay.
"I am a political football..."
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"I put nearly Rs 15,000 crore offer on the table of the Karnataka High Court".
"I am a scapegoat. Both political parties don't like me", he said, while having a cigarette during the lunch break in the hearing for his ongoing extradition case.
"I have no comment, you are hearing everything in court", he added on further questions by the reporters.
Sinha's remarks came soon after Mallya, facing charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore, said in London that he met the finance minister before leaving India past year.
Mallya's team argued there is no prima facie case, while India presented thousands of pages of documents to substantiate charges of dishonesty and misrepresentation to obtain loans from IDBI, and disbursal of monies for purposes unintended.
Why didn't the Modi government, also the owner of banks whom he allegedly defrauded, take precautionary action to make sure Mallya doesn't cross the border? However, he left to United Kingdom without paying bank debts and Government of India's plans of extradition didn't work out yet.