Delhi

Had met Arun Jaitley to ‘settle matters’ before leaving India: Vijay Mallya

Mallaya escaped to the UK in 2016 and has been fighting against any moves to extradite him to India to face trial

The Hush Post: Absconding tycoon Vijay Mallya today claimed that he met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to ‘settle matters’ before leaving.

“I met the finance minster to settle matters before I left. The banks had filed objections to my settlement letters”, news agency ANI quoted him saying outside London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Mallaya escaped to the UK in 2016. Since then he has been fighting against any moves to extradite him to India to face trial. Mallya had opposed his extradition saying Indian jails do not have proper air and light.

The 62-year-old liquor baron is wanted in India for defaulting on loans worth crores. He is also wanted in a money-laundering case. He flew just when a group of banks launched a move to recover Rs 9,000 crore from him. He was arrested in the UK last year on an extradition warrant.

Earlier, the fugitive tycoon also released a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which he has said that he was “making every effort” to settle his dues to banks.

“I wrote letters to both the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister on 15th April 2016 and am making these letters public to put things in the right perspective. No response was received from either of them,” Mallya had said in a statement from the UK.

“ I am pained to see that I have become the poster boy of all bank defaults…I have also become a political pawn,” he had written in his six-page letter.

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