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War room | CBI files charges against 4

Ravi Shankaran, a relative of Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash, has already been declared as a proclaimed offender.

india Updated: Jul 04, 2006 01:43 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday filed charges against four defence officials for leaking confidential information from the Indian Navy's war room related to national security.

CBI officials said the four defence officers - commander Khulbushan Parashar, naval commanders Vijendra Rana and VK Jha, and former Indian Air Force wing commander SL Surve - were charged of criminal conspiracy.

"Two other people who were arrested earlier have not been named in the charge sheet. We might consider filing a supplementary charge sheet before the court after our investigations are completed," said a CBI official.

Rajrani Jaiswal and Mukesh Bajaj, who were also arrested earlier, have not been named in the charge sheet. Ravi Shankaran, a relative of Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash, has already been declared as a proclaimed offender.

Recently, CBI sleuths had raided homes and residences of military officers, defence ministry bureaucrats and an arms dealer to probe the leak of classified information from the navy's war room.

Officials said they had searched the premises of 14 people, including four Navy officers, two Army officers, three defence ministry officials and arms dealer Abhishek Verma, who is said to have been involved in the sale of French Scorpene submarines to the Indian Navy.

There were also reports that certain offices in the Army and Navy headquarters were searched but the CBI denied this.

The scandal came into light last year after classified information was found in the possession of Surve, a former joint director at Air Force headquarters.

The Navy had last year carried out a probe after it was alleged that nine people were involved in leaking classified information relating to its planned purchase of a wide array of sophisticated equipment from the war room or Directorate of Naval Operations.

The Navy dismissed three officers in October 2005 after the probe concluded they had sold classified information for commercial benefits.