A London court on Wednesday turned down the plea filed by Ravi Shankaran, a key accused in the Navy War Room leak case opposing the Indian government’s plea to exradite him. Rejecting his petition, the District judge Nicholad Evans at the Westminster Magistrates Court in London said that Shankaran had been presented with no evidence to prove there wasn’t a “case to answer”.
Here is all you need to know about him:
* Lieutenant (retd) Ravi Shankaran, is a decorated deep sea diver who left the navy in mid ’90s. He is the nephew of former Navy Chief Arun Prakash.
* Shankaran retired from the force citing medical reasons and floated his own company ‘Shank Ocean Engineering’, a naval supplies company.
* He is the prime accused in the 2005 Navy War Room leak case, one of the most high-profile espionage cases in the country.
* It is alleged that Shankaran was to receive crucial defence documents from the Directorate of Naval operations (Navy war room) in New Delhi. However, they were intercepted by air force intelligence from the house of wing commander S L Surve.
* The intercepted documents reportedly dealt with Indian defence purchases and the country’s defence preparedness plan.
* Between 2005 and 2006, Shankaran managed to give the CBI the slip and was believed to have been travelling in countries like France, Italy and Denmark.
* Treated as absconding, on 1 May 2006, the CBI, which had already got a non-bailable warrant and a look out notice issued against Shankaran, approached Interpol to get a red corner notice issued against Shankaran.
* In April 2010, Ravi Shankaran surrendered in London to British authorities and was arrested on the basis of a non-bailable arrest warrant issued by a court in Delhi.
* A court in Westminster began hearing his extradition petition and on 30 December 2011 the London Court held that prima facie there was a case against Shankaran, but it also allowed him to refute the same at the next hearing.
* On 27 March 2013, the court rejected Shankaran’s petition against extradition. District judge Nicholad Evans at the Westminster Magistrates Court in London said that Shankaran had been presented with no evidence to prove there wasn’t a “case to answer”.
* The District Judge has now sent the case to the UK Home Secretary Theresa May, who will decide on ordering Shankaran’s extradition to India.