The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has launched an investigation into the alleged role of some ministers in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, which was in power between 2004 and 2014, in loans given to absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya during this period, the Economic Times has reported. According to the daily’s report, the CBI has officially approached the finance ministry and formally obtained the documents it needs to build its case.
The CBI will also be looking at the emails it had recovered during raids on the house of the Kingfisher Airlines owner. It had seized over a lakh internal email exchanged between 2008 and 2013, including communications with the Prime Minister’s Office, finance ministry, civil aviation ministry and petroleum ministry among others. In one such exchange, Mallya had reportedly claimed that the disbursement of loans was made possible by the intervention of UPA ministers.
The BJP, which is under attack from the Congress over an alleged meeting between Mallya and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has put out a video clipping from a news broadcast on 12 November 2011 in which then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is seen saying he would find ways to get Kingfisher Airlines out of the trouble. Speaking to reporters on board Air India One, Singh had said he would talk to civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi about the issue.
On the same day, Mallya had defended Singh’s statement on helping Kingfisher.
Every Government has gone out of the way to support Airlines and connectivity.In India Airlines are over taxed and over charged Wonder why?— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) November 11, 2011
According to this report from 2011, the then aviation minister had hinted that he would talk to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to discuss possible assistance to the crisis-ridden airlines owned by Mallya.