The London court was hearing the closing arguments in the extradition case against Mallya on Wednesday, as well as review the video of jail cell prepared for him by the Indian authorities. "On 1st March 2016, when I was in Central Hall of Parliament House, I witnessed Arun Jaitley and Vijay Mallya talking discretely".
"I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva".
Congress President Rahul Gandhi has not reacted on this startling revelation, but one wonders how he can continue to function as the finance minister.
"Finance Minister Arun Jaitley first claimed that he never met Vijay Mallya, but Mr. Mallya met him in the corridor and informed that he was going to London".
Jaitley, in his long post, said that since 'he (Vijay Mallya) was a Rajya Sabha member and he occasionally attended the House, he misused that privilege on one occasion while I was walking walking out the house to go my room'.
However, reacting to this, Jaitley said Jaitley said he had never given Mallya any appointment to meet him since 2014 and "the question of his having met me does not arise". The Congress says so, and Rahul Gandhi has decried "a clear-cut case of collusion". "Given Vijay Mallya's extremely serious allegations in London today, the PM should immediately order an independent probe into the matter".
Terming Mallya's offer to settle overdue loans of more than Rs 9,000 crore to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines as "bluff offers", Jaitley said he did not even take the papers the liquor baron was carrying during that brief encounter.
Sure there is nowhere back for Vijay Mallya, as he looks increasingly likely to be extradited back to India.
Mallya also subsequently clarified and described the episode as an "unnecessary controversy" as there was no formal meeting between the two.
In London, talking to reporters, Mallya said the media should question the banks why they are not supporting him in his efforts to repay.
Mallya, who faces charges of defrauding banks to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, said he did not file any clemency plea in the Karnataka High Court where he was ready to settle all dues.
He said Mallya's claim is a vindication of the Congress's stand that the government always knew about the fleeing defaulters. Mallya, in a statement, leaves a hint that he would want to move to United Kingdom "to be closer to his family" and is still in dialogues with banks for a One Time Settlement. Judge Emma Arbuthnot said she had seen the video three times and did not direct court officials to show it.
Mallya, 62, is fighting numerous lawsuits in the United Kingdom and back home over fraud and money-laundering allegations as well as an extradition to India.