Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Stepping up his attack on Arun Jaitley for allegedly meeting Vijay Mallya before he fled to the UK, Congress president Rahul Gandhi today accused the finance minister of colluding with a "criminal" and not informing the probe agencies, despite having information about the liquor baron's plan to leave the country. Jaitley has denied the claim. The Congress chief said Jaitley wrote long blogs but did not refer to his meeting with Mallya in any of his write-ups.
The said the change in the notice was an error in judgement and since he had been cooperating, there was no reason to stop him from moving overseas.
"This is an open and shut case...it is a clear-cut case of collusion". There is some deal between them.
In between, he had appeared for questioning thrice since the lookout notices were issued - once in New Delhi and twice in Mumbai between December 9 and 12, 2015. "It was agreed that they would meet Monday morning to get an order from the Supreme Court restraining Mallya from leaving the country".
In a statement issued on Facebook, the Finance Minister said that Mallya's statement is "factually false".
In 2016, Arun Jaitley had said that there is a legal process to stop somebody from going overseas. Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise.
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Recalling an instance Jaitley said: "I do remember on one occasion, he misused his privileges of Member of Rajya Sabha and while I was walking from the Rajya Sabha to my room and (he) suggested that he was going to make some offer of settlement".
"We have proof that Rahul Gandhi was using black money and the Gandhi family was helping Vijay Mallya with sweet deals", News18 quoted BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra as saying at the news conference in New Delhi.
The BJP leader claimed that the party has "letters in which Vijay Mallya thanks Manmohan Singh for his help".
Punia took over: "I saw Mallya talking to Jaitley in a corner of the Central Hall (of Parliament) on March 1, 2016, a day before he fled. There is CCTV footage from that day and it should be reviewed", Punia, who was also present in the media briefing, told reporters.
Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya might not be lodged in the same cell as shown in the eight-minute video submitted by the Indian government in the Westminster Court in London.
"Sometimes it seems the airline was not owned by Mallya, but by the Gandhi family in proxy", Patra said, adding that Rahul Gandhi, who himself is out on bail (in the National Herald case), had no right to question others on corruption.