London: A British court today posted the
much-awaited extradition hearing of Ravi Shankaran, a key
accused in the infamous Naval War Room leak case, to September
one after giving prosecution three weeks time to make a case
Judge Nicholas Evans of Westminster Magistrate Court
heard special public prosecutor John Hardy QC arguing on
behalf of India for extradition of 46-year-old Shankaran and
later asked him to make out proper allegation against the
accused and handover the same to the defendants by July 19.
After the preliminary hearing from the prosecuting
lawyer for over three and half hours, the judge asked the
defending lawyer to keep ready his reply after which the court
will hear the extradition plea on September one, this year.
"If I am satisfied prima facie, we will move on at the
next day of hearing on September 1," Judge Evans said.
The Special Public Prosecutor, while reading India`s
extradition plea, cited the alleged involvement of Shankaran,
a close kin of former Naval Chief Admiral Arun Prakash, in
leaking sensitive information about Sir Creek in Gujarat.
Shankaran, against whom an Interpol Red Corner Notice
was issued at the request of the CBI in 2006, was arrested in
London April this year after evading the law for four years.
Shankaran`s solicitor Prosecutor told newsmen outside
the court that his client will use this opportunity to correct
number of matters which have been reported totally incorrect.
"For the record, my client voluntarily attended at a
police station by prior appointment in the knowledge that he
would be charged. He is presently on bail without restrictions
on his movement. He is not being guarded by armed police,"
Shankaran was declared a proclaimed offender by a Delhi
court four years ago and his passport was revoked on May one,
The CBI, which has gone unrepresented in two hearings,
had sought assistance of the Crown Prosecution Services to
represent the case in the court for his extradition.
The CBI had registered a case on March 20, 2006
against former IAF Wing Commander Sambhaji Rao Surve,
Shankaran, ex-Naval Commanders Vinod Kumar Jha and Vinod Rana,
Raj Rani Jaiswal, Mukesh Bajaj, Wing Commander (retired) S K
Kohli, Kashyap Kumar and Kulbushan Parashar.
The case against these nine persons was registered under
various sections of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and Section
120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
Barring Jaiswal, Bajaj and Kashyap Kumar, chargesheets
have been filed against all the others. The CBI has prepared
documents for closing the case against the trio as nothing
could be found against them.