A British district judge court has issued an arrest warrant against Ravi Shankaran, an accused in the Naval War Room leak case. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had sent a request to the Home Department of United Kingdom for provisional arrest of Shankaran, reported to be hiding in Britain.
“The issuing of arrest warrants is considered a major step towards his apprehension and extradition,” said G Mohanty, a CBI spokesperson.
The request for the provisional arrest of Shankaran, 43, was made under the provisions of Article 12 of the extradition treaty between the two countries and it stated that “if apprehended, the government of India undertakes to present a formal extradition request for Ravi Shankaran to the government of the UK and Northern Ireland not later than two months from such date of apprehension...”
Shankaran had left India prior to the registration of the case by the CBI. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Seema Maini had issued proclamation order in his name on June 17 last year, directing him to appear before the court. Due to non-compliance of these orders, his known properties, which included his office — Shanks Oceanographic Private Limited in Goa, bank accounts and a firm, were attached on September 19, 2006.
Shankaran was later declared a proclaimed offender and a Red Corner notice was issued against him on May 12. CBI had raided his residence and offices in April last year after arresting Kulbushan Parashar, a former naval commander, from the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Parashar had disclosed that Shankaran was in London.
Besides Shankaran, Wing Commander of IAF Sambhaji Rao Surve, Shankaran, ex-commanders of Navy, Vinod Kumar Jha and Vinod Rana, Raj Rani Jaiswal, Mukesh Bajaj, Wing Commander (retired) SK Kohli, Kashyap Kumar and Parashar have been charged under various sections of the Official Secrets Act and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.