London: A UK court hearing the extradition case of Naval War Room leak accused Ravi Shankaran was on Friday granted further bail to him till March 27.
District Judge Nicholas Evans at Westminster Magistrates Court here said he will pronounce his ruling in the case on that day.
"I need the time to read through a lot of material that I haven`t read and then I`ll be in a position to rule," he said during a hearing in the extradition case today.
Shankaran, 46, a retired naval commander and relative of former Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash, is a key accused in the case of leaking classified information from the War Room to arms dealers.
He has been absconding since the case was registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in March 2006.
The CBI revoked his passport in May that year and secured a Red Corner Notice against him after filing a charge-sheet in July 2006.
An extradition request was sent to the UK in 2007 following reports that he was in the country and he was arrested by British authorities in April 2010 on the basis of the non-bailable arrest warrants issued by the Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi.
At today`s hearing, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) argued the CBI’s case that there was substantial evidence to extradite the accused for a trial in India.
However, Shankaran`s defence team, led by James Lewis QC, argued that some of the evidence should be ruled inadmissible and also that their client`s human rights were at a "real risk" of being breached due to the "endemic delays" in the Indian judicial system.
"There is no doubt there has been an unconscionable delay in this case," Judge Evans said.
He also asked for written submissions from both sides on any indication the CBI is able to give in reference to speeding up the process of bail for Shankaran in an Indian court before the next hearing on March 27.
If the judge rules in favour of the CBI, the case will be sent to the UK Home Secretary, Theresa May, for a final decision on whether to order Shankaran’s extradition.