The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) missed the 14-day deadline to appeal against a top UK court order rejecting its extradition request for former naval officer Ravi Shankaran, a key accused in the 2006 Navy war room leak case, since it kept waiting for a legal opinion that never came.
Confirming this, a CBI source said, “The deadline for filing the appeal has lapsed. We did not get the legal opinion sought by us on whether we should appeal the April one verdict of the UK court according to which our evidence was inconclusive and non-admissible.” He added, “One view is that there has to be fresh evidence to file an appeal but we don’t have any. So, we need to know what are the other options of bringing the accused back to India.”
An alleged arms dealer, Shankaran is accused of acquiring for sale 8 files of classified secrets from the naval war room and air defence headquarters.
The CBI is also examining whether there was any lapse in recording a key witness statement properly. The agency might also re-examine the grounds on which four senior agency officials, who were part of the case’s probe, had subsequently received the President’s gold medal for their work.
“This is because of the fact that the UK High Court of Justice had held our evidence to as inadmissible and inconclusive, thought the lower court there had earlier upheld the same,” said the source.
The CBI is also examining the accused’s claim of having filed a complaint against an agency case investigator in the Indian trial court for allegedly submitting fake evidence in a UK court in May 2011.