Naval war room leak: UK to extradite Shankaran

In what comes as a major success for the CBI, British authorities on Tuesday ordered the extradition of Ravi Shankaran, one of the main accused in the Naval war room leak case, to face trial in India. UK Home Secretary Theresa May issued the order but gave Shankaran, a close relative of former Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash, 14 days time to file an appeal in the case, the CBI said.

The order came exactly two months after a British court rejected Shankaran's appeal against his extradition. The CBI, while pressing for his extradition, had assured the Westminster Magistrates Court that his bail will not be opposed once he is brought back to face trial. The 49-year-old Shankaran had listed denial of bail in India among the reasons for opposing his extradition.

After the court was given assurance, District Judge Nicholas Evans had ruled that "a case to answer has been made out" against the accused and that the UK Home Secretary may make the final decision on issuing an extradition order.

The CBI plans to send a team to the UK to bring him back once all legal formalities in that country are completed as Shankaran may oppose the decision of the British Home Secretary in the court there.

About giving an assurance, the CBI justified it by saying that he had been named in a chargesheet and all he required was to face the trial. The retired Navy commander, who was arrested in London in May 2010, has been given conditional bail, which includes the requirement to live at a new UK address provided by him, a deposit of 20,000 pounds and no right to foreign travel.

Shankaran is one of the 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 CBI in March 2006. His passport was revoked on May 1, 2006 and an Interpol Red Corner Notice was secured against him in July that year.

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