Mallya’s Great Escape was aided by the CBI quietly changing the “Detain” notice for him, to “Inform”. The CBI reports directly to the PM. It is inconceivable that the CBI, in such a high profile, controversial case, would change a lookout notice without the approval of the PM.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 14, 2018
The CBI says Mallya was questioned on December 9, 10 and 11. There was no reason to believe he could escape, said officials, defending the diluted notice. The first notice, the investigation agency said, was a “mistake” — the Mumbai immigration branch checked out the detention column while filling a form.
Mallya’s sensational claim from London about meeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving, the opposition has raised questions about the notice and why he was allowed to leave. Over the past two days, there has been non-stop sparring between the ruling BJP and the Congress, each accusing the other of proximity to Mallya. Rahul Gandhi has asked Jaitley to step down till the investigation is on.
For 2.5 yrs Mr Jaitley has hidden from the public & the investigation agencies the meeting, he now suddenly remembers, in which Mr Mallya told him he was leaving for London. This is enough to make his continuance as FM untenable & disgraceful. #ArunJaitleyStepDown
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 13, 2018
On Thursday the Congress addressed media person and a party leader PL Puniya alleged that he had seen Mallya in conversation with Arun Jaitley in the central hall of parliament, two days before the businessman flew out on March 2, 2016, in the middle of attempts by banks to recover nearly Rs 9,000 crore from him in unpaid loans.
“It was a 15-20 minute, sit-down meeting,” said Rahul Gandhi. Sitting near him, PL Puniya said: “It is my challenge. You can look at CCTV footage and see if I am wrong. If I am wrong, I will resign.”
Mallya has claimed that he met the finance minister to discuss settlement of his dues with banks, but Jaitley has called his statements false, and said the businessman accosted him in parliament misusing his MP privileges.