Former comptroller and auditor general (CAG) Vinod Rai on Monday termed “improper” CBI Director Ranjit Sinha’s controversial meetings with persons involved in scams and said that “something is amiss somewhere”.
Rai drew equated Sinha’s meetings, which he said was “obviously the result of some intrigue”, to someone meeting a judge in whose court his case was being heard.
“We do not know what the truth is. Sinha says the number of visits was exaggerated. I believe all bureaucrats live in glasshouses. Every act of ours is under public scrutiny. We need to conduct ourselves so that we can withstand it. So I think somewhere, even if he says the visits are exaggerated, something is amiss,” Rai told Deccan Herald in an interview.
The former CAG, whose recent release of the book “Diary of the Nation’s Conscience Keeper: Not Just an Accountant” triggered a controversy, also rebuked the CBI for targeting officers and making a fool of itself in cases like that involving former coal secretary P C Parakh. The agency had named Parakh, along with business tycoon Kumaramangalam Birla, in a coal scam case. The case was closed, however, after investigations found little evidence.
Rai himself was the target of a CBI inquiry which is narrated in his book. When Rai was in the Finance Ministry, he had cleared the Voluntary Retirement Scheme of an official speedily.
“I think anybody who is trying to target an incumbent CAG through this methodology is absolutely puerile. Because you think a sitting CAG would get cowed down by a preliminary enquiry. I mean, I have dealt with law, administration and courts. I know the culpability that can be established against me for the early release of an official. I knew it, went to the then CBI director and said: ‘Let me see you proceed on this, I will fix you.’ I actually told him that,” he said.
Sinha has been embroiled in a controversy after a visitors’ register of his official residence came in the public domain. The purported diary has details of frequent visits by scam accused or those linked with them. The visitors included top officials from the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, meat exporter Moin Qureshi, and coal scam accused Vijay Darda, a Congress MP, among others.