The Congress accused Thursday the Narendra Modi-led NDA government of taking no action against fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya, accused of Rs 9,000-crore bank fraud, despite registration of an FIR by the CBI in July 2015.
He alleged a consortium of 17 banks led by the SBI moved the debt recovery tribunal for action against Mallya on February 28, 2016 but it was advised to move the Supreme Court. By the time court was moved he had already escaped, the Congress leader said.
"Who directed the banks to not to act and delay filing of the case in the Supreme Court, until March 5, 2016, so that Mallya can escape on March 2, 2016," he asked.
"Why did Finance Minister Arun Jaitley meet and discuss the loan default of Rs 9,000 crore with Vijay Mallya in Parliament? Is it legally, ethically and morally correct on part of Jaitley to hold such discussions with an economic offender against whom banks have filed a case," Surjewala asked.
The Congress leader said Mallya admitted to informing Jaitley that he was leaving for London but despite knowing about Mallya's intention of escaping "why did Jaitley not tell CBI/ED/SFIO/External Affairs Ministry to detain and arrest Mallya? Was he being tipped to escape?"
Surjewala also asked why the Narendra Modi-led government had permitted Mallya to receive millions of dollars in India and abroad from Diageo.
He alleged that a sum of USD 300 million was paid to him by Diageo which bought many of his companies.
"How did the Modi government permit Vijay Mallya to receive millions of dollars in India and abroad from Diageo? Is it not correct that Diageo paid a sum of USD 40 million to Mallya as part of agreement dated February 25, 2016 and USD 58 million to him in two tranches of South African Breweries," Surjewala questioned.
"Is it also not correct that Diageo paid USD 141 million to Standard Chartered Bank on a loan taken by Mallya's UB Group Company and USD 42 million on a loan taken by his United Breweries Overseas Ltd? Why couldn't the Rs 9,000 crore owed to Indian banks then be recovered," he asked.
He posed a set of six questions to the government asking why was no action taken against Mallya for the bank fraud, despite registration of an FIR by the CBI.
Refuting Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's claim that party chief Rahul Gandhi had met Mallya, Surjewala said, "Unfortunately, an arrogant law minister spends more time in the BJP office than in the Law ministry."
"The prime minister went to London multiple times, does it mean that he was going there to support Mallya? Ravi Shankar Prasad Ji and his family have gone there multiple times. Were they being hosted by Mallya," he asked.
He claimed almost all Union ministers had gone there multiple times and asked if it meant that all of them had gone there to meet Vijay Mallya.
The Congress leader alleged, "Till date, the Modi government has not moved for the extradition of Lalit Modi. Is he not an Indian fugitive? Does it not mean that the prime minister is protecting him? For three years, neither have you sought deportation nor sought his extradition.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)