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Charge sheet filed in War Room case

Special Correspondent

Navy chief's kin among those named

Further hearing scheduled for July 10Interpol Red Corner look out for Ravi Shankaran

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday filed a charge sheet against five former Naval and Air Force officials, already named in the First Information Report (FIR), in the Naval War Room Leak case.

Ravi Shankaran, a relative of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Arun Prakash, and four former senior defence officials were named in the charge sheet filed in the Court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi. It will come up for hearing on July 10.

Besides Ravi Shankaran, against whom an Interpol Red Corner notice has been issued and who has been declared a proclaimed offender, those charge sheeted were the former naval Commander, Kulbushan Parashar, sacked Naval Commanders, Vijender Rana and V.K. Jha, and ex-Air Force Wing Commander, S.L. Surve. According to the charge sheet, Mr. Shankaran is hiding in a European country.

The agency said that Mr. Parashar, Mr. Shankaran, Mr. Surve and Mr. Rana were charge sheeted under 120-B (Criminal Conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and under the Officials Secret Act for allegedly entering into a conspiracy and compromising about 7,000 pages of sensitive defence information from the Naval war room and air defence headquarters, which have a direct bearing on national security.

The case was registered on March 20 this year on a reference from the Defence Ministry and after scrutiny of inquiry held by the Indian Air Force against Mr. Surve and the Board of Inquiry conducted by the Indian Navy, Mr. Parashar was arrested at the Indira Gandhi International airport here on April 5 on his return from London. After this, nationwide searches were carried out at 20 places.

The CBI, in its 250-page charge sheet, alleged that the accused Defence officials entered into a criminal conspiracy for obtaining and collecting information related to defence matters, which was calculated to be or might be or was intended to be useful to the enemy or which related to a matter the disclosure of which, to unauthorised persons, was prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India and the security of the state.

The CBI informed the court that the agency proposed to continue investigations pertaining to those who were not charge sheeted on Monday, CBI spokesman said.

The agency had carried out searches at 20 places on June 23.

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