H S Rao
London, Jan 20 (PTI) The extradition hearing of RaviShankaran, prime accused in the infamous Naval War Room Leakcase arrested by the Metropolitan Police in London last year,has been put off to May 5, 2011.
After a 90-minute proceedings at the City ofWestminster Magistrates'' Court yesterday, District JudgeNicholas Evans decided to postpone the hearing so thatrelevant evidence in the extradition could be placed beforethe court.
"Given the seriousness of the case, I am of theopinion that a further adjournment is appropriate," JudgeEvans said.
Judge Evans also raised the issue of delay in theprogress of the extradition proceedings and said theprosecution and defence had failed to meet the deadlines thatthe court had fixed for the proper progress of the case.
Allowing an adjournment of 12 weeks, Judge Evans saidthat the case hearing would proceed regardless if relevantdocuments are received or not in court by that time.
Shankaran''s defence counsel, who put in an oral pleafor return of part of 50,000 pounds deposited with the courtas part of the Shankaran''s bail conditions, objected to theadjournment and claimed that "there were real fundamentaldefects in the case."
A two-member CBI team has arrived here to assist theUK Crown Prosecution Service in the case.
Shankaran, a close relative of the then Naval ChiefAdmiral Arun Prakash, has faced an Interpol Red Corner noticesince 2006.
He was arrested here on April 21 last year and hasbeen facing extradition proceedings since then.
Shankaran''s co-accused in the case are former IAF Wingcommander Sambhaji Rao Surve, former Naval Commanders VinodKumar Jha and Vinod Rana, Raj Rani Jaiswal, Mukesh Bajaj, WingCommander S K Kohli (Retd.), Kashyap Kumar and KulbushanPrashar.
The CBI had filed a case against all the accused inMarch 2006.
The case against these nine persons was registeredunder various sections of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) andSection 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 caseagainst the trio as nothing could be found against them.
In June last year also, Shankaran''s extradition casehad been postponed.