Eight years after CBI filed the charge sheet in a case relating to leakage of information from Naval war room, a court today framed charges against Ravi Shankaran, Abhishek Varma and four other former senior defence officials under Official Secrets Act (OSA).
CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said the court framed charges under 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and other sections of OSA against Verma, Shankaran, a kin of former Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash, former Naval Commander Kulbushan Rana sacked Naval Commanders Vijender Rana and V K Jha and ex-IAF Wing Commander S L Surve. The court has fixed August eight as the next date of hearing, she said.
In a separate case, the CBI spokesperson said, the court also framed charges against Verma, former Naval Captain Salam Singh Rathore and former Naval Commander J S Kalra under OSA and Indian Penal Code.
In the first case, a charge sheet was filed by CBI on July three, 2006 and a supplementary charge sheet naming Verma on October 19, 2006. The accused were chargesheeted under 120-B (Criminal Conspiracy) of IPC to commit offence under Officials Secret Act for allegedly entering into a conspiracy and "compromised" about 7000 pages of defence information of sensitive nature from the Naval war room and air defence headquarters, which have a direct bearing on national security. The case was registered by CBI on March 20, 2006 on a reference from the Defence Ministry after scrutiny of inquiry held by the Indian Air Force against Surve and the Board of Inquiry conducted by the Indian Navy. Parashar was arrested at the airport on April five, 2006 on his return from London.