NEW DELHI: The CBI will soon send its team, along with a cyber expert, to London to assist the UK's law officers in seeking extradition of Ravi Shankaran, the main accused in the Naval War Room leak case.
A Westminster court has fixed October 10 as the next date of hearing on India's plea for seeking extradition of 46-year-old Shankaran, who was arrested in London last year on the basis of Interpol Red Corner notice secured against him by the CBI.
Shankaran, whose passport was revoked by the Ministry of External Affairs on May 1, 2006, has been evading arrest in connection with the Naval War room leak case for over five years now. As the case was handed over to the CBI, Shankaran, kin of the former Naval Chief, Mr Arun Prakash, had fled the country.
Highly-placed sources in the CBI said a team along with a cyber expert, who helped the probe agency in forensic examination of the computers seized from the war room, would be sent to London to assist the Crown Prosecution Services which is pleading the case on behalf of India in the London court.
Shankaran was facing extradition trial for allegedly committing cheating and forgery. However, the Official Secrets Act had not been invoked while seeking his return from London as it was not admissible under the UK's legal system.
His counsel had raised doubts about an e-mail with an attachment of Sir Creek sent by Commander Virender Rana to a person called Vic Branson of Inmaty company in Belgium, which they claimed was owned by Shankaran.
The court-approved forensic experts, as quoted by the accused's counsel, had claimed that the alleged e-mail by Vic Branson to Mr Rana had no date and time and an independent court approved expert has confirmed that it is not possible to create an email, type 11 words, attach 8 documents and then save it all in 2 seconds only.
However, unfazed by the claims, the CBI will present its argument that the expert has wrongly considered creation time of the 'Temporary' internet file related to email in question, which is actually an automatic process in the computer system to cache open files, which can be recovered in case of any crash, the sources said.
The CBI had served a number of notices at his office and residence in Mumbai asking him to be available for questioning. But after getting no response from Shankaran, the CBI moved for a red corner notice and got his passport revoked.
The CBI had conducted raids at the factory premises of Shanks Oceaneering belonging to Shankaran in Mumbai and Goa and seized documents.
Former Wing Commander Sambhajee Surve who was allegedly passing on classified information to a woman he was having an affair with was the last person to be arrested in the case. A pen drive taken from Surve was what tipped off the authorities to the leak.