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India


Silence of PM, FM points to involvement of Govt in facilitating Mallya's escape: Cong

Silence of PM, FM points to involvement of Govt in facilitating Mallya's escape: Cong

New Delhi, Sep 14 (UNI) Charging Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with maintaining a silence on the fresh revelations in the Mallya case in the past 24 hours, including statement by P L Punia that he had seen the businessman meet Mr Jaitley in Central hall of Parliament on March 1, the Congress on Friday said that it all pointed to the direct involvement of the Government in facilitating the escape of the businessman.

Talking to reporters here, AICC media incharge Randeep Surjewala said, 'despite the shocking and startling revelation about a meeting between the Rs 9,000-crore bank scam offender Vijay Mallya and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on March 1, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have maintained a ‘conspiratorial silence’. Is this silence an ‘admission of guilt’ by PM Modi and FM Jaitley?'

Reiterating the party's demand that the PM order an inquiry into the matter and the resignation of the Finance Minister till the completion of the probe, Mr Surjewala said, 'Nation wants to know – Who is the chief architect, protector and benefactor of Vijay Mallya’s escape? Why is the Prime Minister shying away from ordering an independent probe in the matter and sacking Arun Jaitley until the probe is completed?

The PM's credibility is at stake today. If Prime Minister does not act, it will be proved that – 'chowkidar' is not just 'Bhagidar' but also 'gunehgar' (guilty).'

Maintaining that the role of the Finance Minister was under a cloud, Mr Surjewala said, 'Senior Parliamentarian P L Punia has gone on record to state that he saw Vijay Mallya and Arun Jaitley conferring in a corner of Central Hall for some time and then saw them having an intimate conversation while sitting on a bench in the Central Hall of the Parliament. On September 12, 2018 in a Facebook post, Mr Jaitley admits having met Vijay Mallya in the corridors of Parliament. Punia has controverted this statement and has asked for CCTV camera recordings of Central Hall to be released to prove Mr Jaitley’s lie. Mr Punia has also offered to quit, in case he is proved wrong. Mr Jaitley has maintained a conspiratorial silence, not daring to rebut Mr Punia in any manner.

Does it not prove something terribly fishy about Mr Jaitley’s conduct? Is his silence an admission of guilt?'

He also questioned the contention of the CBI that there was insufficient material to arrest Mallya which is why the ‘Lookout Notice’ was charged from ‘detain’ to ‘inform’.



'On July 29, 2015, CBI registered an FIR against Vijay Mallya for loan default and diversion of funds. On October 10, 2015, CBI raided Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines. CBI seized various servers, computers, documents proving massive siphoning off of public funds, diversion of money and default on loans. On October 16, 2015, CBI issued a ‘Lookout Notice to detain Vijay Mallya’ based on this overwhelming material. On November 23, 2015, CBI quietly changed this ‘Lookout Notice to detain Vijay Mallya’ into a mere ‘Inform Notice’.

Yesterday, CBI came forward to state that the reason for change of notice was because it did not have ‘sufficient evidence’ against Vijay Mallya and that the first notice was wrongly issued. Who nudged the CBI to change the ‘Lookout Notice to detain Vijay Mallya’ in view of the overwhelming evidence that was stated in FIR and recovered by CBI in the raids dated October 10, 2015? Is it not correct that the ‘Lookout Notice to detain Vijay Mallya’ dated October 16, 2015 was based upon the material recovered by CBI in the raids on Vijay Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines on October 10 2015?

On August 19, 2014, SBI had issued a notice of ‘willful default’ against Mallya. On September 1, 2014, United Bank of India had declared Mallya a ‘willful defaulter’. In May 2015, Ministry of Corporate Affairs had ordered a full investigation by Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) into the affairs of Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines. How can the CBI, then, today turn back and say that there was insufficient material to arrest a bank declared ‘willful defaulter’ and to change the ‘Lookout Notice’ from ‘detain’ to ‘inform’?' he asked.

UNI AR SD 1842

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