India to invoke 2015 pact with Qatar for transfer of 8 death row ex Indian Navy personnel

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By PTI

Published : Oct 28, 2023, 7:17 AM IST

India yet to officially get copy of verdict by Qatari court against 8 Indians

It is learnt that India is yet to get a copy of the judgement by Qatar's Court of First Instance. India may also look at resolution of the matter diplomatically or politically, sources said. There is an option of New Delhi likely to pitch for using an India-Qatar agreement on the transfer of sentenced prisoners.

New Delhi : A day after a court in Qatar handed eight former Indian Navy personnel death sentences, India is learnt to be exploring various options including approaching the court of appeal against the verdict, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. They said various options are being looked at to find a solution to the issue.

It is learnt that India is yet to get a copy of the judgement by Qatar's Court of First Instance. There is no comment by Qatar on the court verdict. The people familiar with the matter said New Delhi is likely to firm up its options after thoroughly examining the verdict. They said India may also look at resolution of the matter diplomatically or politically.

The Qatari Emir pardons a number of prisoners every year based on appeals for clemency. There is also the option of New Delhi pitching for using an India-Qatar agreement on the transfer of sentenced prisoners, said one of the people cited above. The 2015 pact provides for the completion of sentences by each other's prisoners in their home country.

The eight former Indian Navy personnel were on Thursday handed down death sentences by Qatar's Court of First Instance. India described the ruling as "deeply" shocking and vowed to explore all legal options in the case. The Indian nationals, who worked with the private company Al Dahra, were arrested in August last year reportedly in an alleged case of espionage. Neither the Qatari authorities nor New Delhi made the charges against the Indian nationals public.

"We are deeply shocked by the verdict of death penalty and are awaiting the detailed judgement. We are in touch with the family members and the legal team, and we are exploring all legal options," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.

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The MEA said it will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance to the Indians. "We attach high importance to this case, and have been following it closely. We will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance. We will also take up the verdict with Qatari authorities," it said in a statement.

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