Regular PP to conduct trial in Naval War room case, says CBI
The CBI has told a Delhi court that as no special public prosecutor has been appointed till date to conduct the trial in the 2006 Naval War Room leak case, its regular PP would represent the agency before it.
New Delhi: The CBI has told a Delhi court that as no special public prosecutor has been appointed till date to conduct the trial in the 2006 Naval War Room leak case, its regular PP would represent the agency before it.
In pursuance to the court's earlier notice, CBI's Superintendent of Police Harish Chand Sharma appeared before it and informed it that its regular public prosecutor (PP) VK Ojha would be conducting the trial in the case.
"Present Harish Chand Sharma, SP CBI, pursuant to the notice as per order dated November 11, 2014, and states that it has been decided by the prosecution that the regular PP representing the CBI cases in the court, VK Ojha, shall be conducting this case on behalf of the prosecution since no Special PP has been appointed by CBI till date," Special CBI Judge JPS Malik noted in the order.
The court then fixed the matter for December 17-18 for recording of statements of prosecution witnesses in the case.
Former Navy officer Kulbhushan Prashar, former naval commander Vijender Rana, sacked naval commander VK Jha, former IAF Wing Commander Sambha Jee L Surve and arms dealer and Delhi-based businessman Abhishek Verma are facing trial in the case for alleged criminal conspiracy under IPC and under various Official Secrets Act (OSA).
While Prashar, Surve, Rana and Jha are on bail, Abhishek Verma is lodged in jail and the court extended his judicial custody till December 17.
The CBI had earlier faced the ire of the court which imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on it for "unnecessarily" delaying the proceedings by not appointing a prosecutor in the case.
The court, which had issued notice to the concerned CBI SP, was annoyed as the agency had not appointed any prosecutor to represent its case in which the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi had earlier appointed Rajiv Mohan as Special Public Prosecutor (SPP).The court had earlier framed charges after the five
accused pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
The court had on July 31 ordered framing of charges against the accused, saying said charges of spying by obtaining secret documents, wrongful communication of information and abetment of offences under OSA have been prima facie made out against them.
Prime accused Ravi Shankaran is still absconding and has been declared a proclaimed offender by the court.
The 2006 Navy War Room leak case involves leaking of over 7,000 pages of defence information of sensitive nature from the Naval war room and air defence headquarters, having a direct bearing on national security.
CBI had filed the first chargesheet on July 3, 2006 against Shankaran and four ex-defence officials.
In its second chargesheet, the agency had indicted Verma for allegedly conspiring to obtain the defence documents.
Verma was handling Indian affairs of Altas group of industries and had allegedly received remittances to the tune of Rs 6.5 crore, ostensibly for paying bribes to defence personnel for obtaining information of various purchases to be made by the military, the charge sheet had said.
The Atlas group of companies had submitted bids to supply communication equipment required by the armed forces but none of the contracts had been finalised, CBI had said.
CBI had registered the case on March 20, 2006, on a reference from the Defence Ministry and after scrutiny of report of the inquiry held by Indian Air Force against Surve and the Board of Inquiry conducted by Indian Navy.
Prashar was arrested at the airport here on April 5, 2006, on his return from London, following which nationwide searches had been carried out at 20 premises of the six accused. He was later on granted bail.