And it is this “sluggish pace” that has come in for severe criticism by the British high court in the recent naval war room leak case.
The Court this week squashed the extradition order of Ravi Shankaran signed earlier by UK’s home secretary.
The two-member bench comprising Lord Brian Leveson and Justice Blake sitting in the Queen’s Bench Division in London ruled: “Prima Facie there is no case against Ravi Shankaran”.
The High Court pulled up the CBI saying that an Indian court had not commenced the trial till date, though the case was filed in June 2006.
The Court rejected the demand and ordered the CBI to pay over a crore to Shankaran against the legal costs incurred by him.
According to the judgment released here on Friday, the judges laid out the facts of the proceedings, which commenced in 2010.
“To date, the proceedings have lasted three years: the district judge did not put the blame for such delay on the appellant (Shankaran). In the meantime, it is not in dispute that proceedings in India have also moved at what can only be described as a sluggish pace,” the order reads.
It added: “It took around six years (from initial arrest in April 2006 until an appellate decision of the Indian courts dated 11 May 2012) for the Indian defendants to secure bail. As at that date, the documentary basis of the case against them had still not been disclosed,” it adds.
“Irrespective of the identity of the requesting state, for as long as any defendant to the extradition process is within this jurisdiction, he or she is entitled to rely on the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). If extradition would breach the Appellant’s human rights, then he must not be extradited,” the ruling points out.
The UK court had earlier said that it seemed like India no longer felt there was credible and admissible evidence against the accused.
…………. Kounteya Sinha,TNN | Apr 7, 2014, 06.16 AM IST