Allegations flew thick and fast on Thursday between the Congress and the BJP over the Vijay Mallya affair - Rahul Gandhi accused Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of lying to hide the "free passage" he allegedly gave to the defaulter aviation tycoon to flee to London, while the ruling party counter-claimed the Gandhi family tried to salvage the sinking Kingfisher Airlines with a "sweet deal".
Jaitley said that he has not met the 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airline boss since 2014 but added that Mallya had "misused" his privilege of being a Member of the Rajya Sabha on one occasion.
Gandhi wondered that when the "absconder" had informed the finance minister about leaving the country, why did he not notify it to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Jaitley said Mallya "misused" the privilege of being a Rajya Sabha MP to catch him in corridors of Parliament.
Responding to a query sent by The Indian Express over Mallya's meeting with Jaitley and details of offer of settlement, Clare Montgomery, Mallya's lawyer in the extradition case in London, said: "I am not permitted under my professional rules to make any comment about this case, either on or off the record". I did not even bother to get details from him.
"I met the finance minster to settle matters before I left".
Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that for the past 18 months, the Congress had been asserting that not only Mr. Mallya, but Mehul Choksi and so many others had been allowed to leave the country with impunity.
Jaitley in a post on Facebook on Wednesday evening wrote: "The statement is factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth. Why did you not stop him because you were colluding with him?" Banks went to court for seeking an order.
"On 3 March, we heard from the media that he (Mallya) fled the country on 2 March".
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan accused Mallya of taking undue advantage of Jaitley's presence in Parliament.
"I have said before that I am a political football".
At the previous hearing in July, Judge Arbuthnot had asked the Indian authorities to submit a "step by step video" of Barrack 12 of Arthur Road Jail for "the avoidance of doubt" over the availability of natural light in the cell where the businessman is expected to be detained pre-trial, during trial and in the event he is convicted by the Indian courts.
"As far as I am concerned, I have".
"This is an open and shut case...it is a clear-cut case of collusion". Manmohan Singh helped Kingfisher Airlines.
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