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CBI chargesheet links Scorpene, Naval War Room accused

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, July 3 (UNI) Former defence personnel charged in the Naval War Room leak case were feted by a Bermuda-registered firm at the behest of an arms dealer linked to kickbacks in the multi crore rupee Scorpene submarine deal, the CBI said today.

The link between the two cases -- also alleged by opposition National Democratic Alliance -- was reported by the investigating agency in a chargesheet it filed today in the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kamaljeet Arora against five former naval and air force officials in the Naval War Room leak case.

The British and Canadian wings of the company with interests in entertainment, telecom and defence businesses hosted parties for the defence personnel on the directions of the controversial businessman Abhishek Verma, the chargesheet reveals.

It links the accused to information pertaining to the surface -to-air Pichora missile project, Navy deployment in the Gulf of Kutch, Sir Creek and the Kuwait sea, besides ONGC boats in coastal areas.

The CBI filed the chargesheet against ex-Naval Commanders V K Jha and Vijender Rana besides former Wing Cdr (IAF) Sambhajee L Surve, Lt Cdr (Retd) Kulbhushan Parashar and Lt Cdr (Retd) Ravi Shankaran, kin of Naval Chief Arun Prakash.

Parashar, Shankaran, Surve and Rana were charged with criminal conspiracy to commit offences under Sections three and five of the Official Secrets Act (OSA), 1923, as also for committing offences under Sections 3 and 5 of the OSA.

''The aforesaid accused in conspiracy with each other have compromised about 7,000 pages of crucial defence information of a sensitive nature from the Naval War Room and the Air Defence Headquarters which has a direct bearing on the present and future security of the country,'' the CBI said.

Accused V K Jha was being charged with committing ''substantive offences'' under Section 5 of the Official Secrets Act, the agency said.

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