the PM directly when he appeared in TV news channels in June, 2012. He then said that PM who was coal minister for long could have put his foot down in getting coal blocks auctioned.
In fact, Parakh was known to be a whistle-blower in the case, often nicknamed as coalgate. He used RTI to access his own communications as coal secretary with then cabinet secretary BK Chaturvedi for the period of 2004-05. When cabinet secretariat denied parting with the information, Parakh approached Central Information Commission. Many believed his inputs were taken seriously by the CAG when it prepared a report blaming the government for allocating coal blocks without auction, leading to a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the exchequer. The loss figure was however contested by many analysts, calling it an exaggeration. The CAG report, in fact, hailed Parakh for his observation that the system of allocation, even with modifications, would “not be able to achieve the objectives of transparency and objectivity in the allocation process”.
But Parakh is now made an accused in the case. Media reports quoting unnamed CBI officials say the investigating agency has “fool proof evidences” of Birla’s meeting with Parakh, leading to the overturning of the screening committee’s decision of allocating Talabira coal blocks to two PSUs, Neyveli Lignite Corporation and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. The blocks were then allocated jointly to Hindalco and those PSUs.
On Tuesday, Hindalco said in a statement that it had followed "every process required for allocation of coal completely, as stipulated by the Government policy", denying any wrong-doing.
Meanwhile, Parakh who had retired almost eight years ago, now has to go through a tough time. Before getting selected as an IAS officer and allocated Andhra Pradesh cadre, he was a mining geologist working for National Mining Development Corporation and Hindustan Mining Corporation. He passed out from IIT-Roorkee. In Andhra Pradesh, Parakh had a long tenure in industry ministry and was credited with playing pivotal roles in bringing in investments. Those who know him well say, former Andhra chief ministers engaged him in conducting road shows and investment campaigns in USA, UK and South Asian countries. Parakh was Union coal secretary between March 2004 and December, 2005. For sometime, he also took additional charge of the post of mining secretary. Parakh now resides in Hyderabad.