A day after accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of helping fugitive tycoon Vijay Mallya to escape, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday announced the name of the CBI officer – “PM’s blue-eyed-boy” – who allegedly diluted the “lookout” notice against the liquor baron, due to which he fled to London.
The Congress president also claimed that the same officer was also the in-charge of PNB scam accused Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi’s escape plans.
“CBI Jt. Director, AK Sharma, weakened Mallya’s “Look Out” notice, allowing Mallya to escape. Mr Sharma, a Gujarat cadre officer, is the PM’s blue-eyed-boy in the CBI. The same officer was in charge of Nirav Modi & Mehul Choksi’s escape plans. Ooops...investigation! (sic),” the Gandhi scion wrote on Twitter.
The CBI, however, defended Sharma and said that the decision to change lookout circular was taken because they didn't have enough evidence against Mallya.
"As has been stated a no of times earlier, the decision to change LOC against Vijay Mallya was taken as at the time there were not sufficient grounds for CBI to detain and arrest him. The decision was taken at an appropriate level as a part of the process and not individually by the officer as alleged, ANI quoted the probe agency as saying.
Earlier, Gandhi had demanded Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s resignation after Mallya claimed that he had met the minister before leaving India.
"I met the Finance Minister before I left, repeated my offer to settle with the banks," Mallya told reporters outside London's Westminster Magistrates' Court.
Jaitley, however, refuted all the allegations, asserting that didn’t give him an appointment after 2014, so there was no question of the meeting.
“Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise. However, since he was a Member of Rajya Sabha and he occasionally attended the House, he misused that privilege on one occasion while I was walking out of the House to go to my room. He paced up to catch up with me and while walking uttered a sentence that “I am making an offer of settlement,” Jaitley wrote in a Facebook post.
The sixty-two-year-old the former boss of now-grounded Kingfisher airlines is wanted in India for defaulting loans of state-run banks worth around 9,000 crore. He had fled the country on March 2, 2016, the very day when the banks had moved the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT).