CBI probe into Navy war room leak hits roadblock

The CBI, through the External Affairs Ministry, had approached British authorities for the deportation of the main accused, Shankaran.

india Updated: Jun 11, 2006 21:10 IST

The CBI's probe into the Navy war room leak has hit a roadblock, as British authorities have not confirmed the presence of Ravi Shankaran, one of the accused and kin of Naval Chief Admiral Arun Prakash, in that country.

The CBI, through the External Affairs Ministry, had approached British authorities for the deportation of Shankaran, who was believed to be in the UK, on the grounds that his passport had been revoked and an Interpol Red Corner Notice had been issued against him.

However, British authorities have told the CBI that they were unable to execute the Red Corner Notice, as Shankaran was not available at possible places listed by the agency in its request, CBI sources said.

The government had on May 1 revoked Shankaran's passport after he failed to appear before the CBI despite several notices served at his office and residence in Mumbai, seeking his appearance for questioning in the case.

Shankaran's office in Mumbai, Shanks Oceangraphic Private Limited, and the office of Jennifer Mirza, who was allegedly heading his front organisation in Goa, was raided by CBI and certain documents were recovered.

Former Navy Commander Kulbushan Parashar, already arrested by the CBI, had told investigators that he had met Shankaran in London. Parashar was arrested by the CBI on April 6 when he returned from the UK.

The CBI has already issued a 'Look Out Notice' against Shankaran to all airports, railway stations, major ports and bus terminals with a note that he should be arrested immediately.

The agency registered a case on March 20 against former IAF Wing Commander Sambhaji Rao Surve, Shankaran, ex-Navy Commanders Vinod Kumar Jha and Vinod Rana, Raj Rani Jaiswal, who allegedly acted as a honey trap for the defence personnel, Mukesh Bajaj, Wing Commander (retd) SK Kohli, Kashyap Kumar and former Navy Commander Kulbushan Parashar.

While Surve, Jha, Rana, Parashar, Jaiswal and Bajaj were arrested by the CBI, Kohli and Parashar joined the investigation and were cooperating with the agency in the case.

The case against all the nine persons has been registered under various sections of the Official Secrets Act and Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, which relates to criminal conspiracy, in connection with the leak of classified information from the war room on the Navy's purchase plans.

First Published: Jun 11, 2006 20:57 IST