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Ex-coal secy's book on ‘coalgate’ out today

In ‘Crusader or Conspirator? Coalgate and Other Truths', PC Parakh accuses CBI director Ranjit Sinha of having acted against him to impress the SC and wonders why he chose not to mention PM Manmohan Singh.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2014 02:02 IST

Former coal secretary PC Parakh, against whom the CBI has registered a case for allegedly favouring Hindalco in coal block allocation in Odisha, has accused the probe agency chief of “witch-hunt”.

In his book ‘Crusader or Conspirator? Coalgate and Other Truths', scheduled for release on Monday, the retired IAS officer has accused the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director, Ranjit Sinha, of having acted against him to impress the Supreme Court.

Parakh’s book, which could potentially embarrass the Congress, comes close on the heels of another book that has triggered a storm in poll season.

Sanjaya Baru, a former media adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has written in his book that Congress president Sonia Gandhi “remote controlled” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Singh played “second fiddle” to her.

The PMO has dismissed Baru's claims as “baseless and mischievous”, but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has latched on to the contents to target the Congress.

In his book, Parakh has wondered why CBI director Sinha chose not to mention Manmohan Singh in the Hindalco allocation because he had taken the decision in the matter.

At the same time to be fair to the PM, he said at no time had the PMO made recommendation or exerted pressure in favour of any party.

Parakh has said the CBI was indulging in "witch hunting". He has brought out the problems faced by bureaucrats while serving ministers and politicians at large and accused Sinha of having acted without "proper understanding" of the facts, rules and laws.

"Perhaps to impress the Supreme Court and the people at large of your new found freedom from the cage," Parakh has remarked in his book, hinting at the observation made by the Supreme Court when it had termed the CBI a "caged parrot".

Reacting to the personal attack, CBI director Sinha told PTI, “We can reply to all the accusations point by point but since the case is being monitored by the Supreme Court, I will not say anything."

He termed the book a “typical babu book where the author has indulged in self-glorification".