British authorities on Tuesday cleared the extradition of former Indian Navy officer Ravi Shankaran for trial in India, where he is accused of leaking military secrets to arms dealers in 2006 and thereabouts.
However, the UK granted the 46-year-old former Commander 14 days' bail to file an appeal against the extradition order. The bail conditions requires Shankaran to live at a new UK address provided by him, with a deposit of £20,000 and a bar on foreign travel.
Shankaran, a close relative of former Indian Navy chief Adm Arun Prakash, is a key accused in leaking classified information from the Navy War Room.
Shankaran fled the country almost immediately after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against him in March 2006. His passport was subsequently cancelled; and an Iterpol red corner notice put out for his arrest.
He was arrested in London in 2010. A British court rejected his appeal against extradition two months ago.
Shankaran pleaded before the Westminster Magistrates Court that he would be denied bail in India; but the CBI assured the court that his bail will not be opposed as he was merely named in a chargesheet; and all he has to do is to face trial.
The UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had argued the CBI's case that there was substantial evidence to extradite the accused for trial in India.
In its order, the UK court had dismissed Shankaran's claims that CBI had gone "out of the way to cover up false and fabricated evidence" as having no "merit whatsoever".
The judge had also said extradition hearings are bound by good faith between sovereign states and he is confident that if the prosecution in India no longer felt there was "credible and admissible" evidence against the accused, then it was their duty to end the proceedings and withdraw the extradition request.
The CBI plans to send a team to the UK to bring him back as soon as all legal formalities in that country are completed in an attempt to preclude further appeals by Shankaran in Britain.