A London court has accepted evidence submitted by the CBI against Ravi Shankaran, key accused in the 2006 Naval War Room Leak case, thus paving the way for his likely extradition.
The Navy War Room leak case, which came to light in 2005, related to navy officers allegedly passing on sensitive information to retired naval officers, who were middlemen for various arms firms.
Shankaran, a former naval lieutenant commander in the Indian Navy, is a relative of former naval chief admiral Arun Prakash.
The evidence — email communications seized allegedly from Shankaran’s personal computer — contained classified, secret naval documents and information, which were procured illegally, and could have compromised the country’s security, said a CBI source.
The London district court ruled there was an “admissible case” against Shankaran.
The next hearing is fixed for December 30.
An Interpol Red Notice was issued against Shankaran in 2006. An extradition request was sent to the UK in 2007 after reports surfaced about his presence there. In April 2010, the UK authorities arrested him on the basis of a non-bailable arrest warrant issued against him by a Delhi metropolitan court.
“As a result of the close co-ordination between the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service, the Indian High Commission and the CBI, the attempts of Shankaran to cast doubts were successfully refuted,” said the source.
The CBI is likely to send a team to London to assist the UK prosecutors in the extradition case. It had sent a two-member team to London to assist the prosecution team and furnished a 50-page reply to objections raised by Shankaran’s lawyers against the agency’s electronic evidence submitted in the court.