New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday said no international norms were violated in India seeking parity in the mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa.

Canada had accused India of violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on Thursday that Canada has removed 41 diplomats and their 42 dependants from India amid the ongoing row between the two countries.

"We reject any attempt to portray the implementation of parity as a violation of international norms," the external affairs ministry said.

The MEA statement noted that the state of the ties between India and Canada as well as Ottawa's continued presence in India's internal affairs warrant a "parity" in mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa.

"We have seen the Statement by the Government of Canada on October 19 regarding Canadian diplomatic presence in India," the ministry statement read.

"The state of our bilateral relations, the much higher number of Canadian diplomats in India, and their continued interference in our internal affairs warrant a parity in mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa," it said.

India has engaged with Canada over the past month in order to work out the details and modalities of its implementation, the MEA statement read, adding that India's actions in implementing the parity are fully consistent with Article 11.1 of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic ties.

"Our actions in implementing this parity are fully consistent with Article 11.1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which states the following: In the absence of specific agreement as to the size of the mission, the receiving State may require that the size of a mission be kept within limits considered by it to be reasonable and normal, having regard to circumstances and conditions in the receiving State and to the needs of the particular mission."

On October 19, Melanie Joly said India has conveyed its plan to remove diplomatic immunities for 41 Canadian diplomats and their families.

"As of now, I can confirm that India has formally conveyed its plan to unethically remove diplomatic immunities for all but 21 Canadian diplomats and dependents in Delhi by tomorrow, October 20. This means 41 Canadian diplomats and their 42 dependents were in danger of having immunity stripped on an arbitrary date. And this would put their personal safety at risk," Joly said, as she confirmed the departure of Canadian diplomats.

The Canadian Foreign Minister said, "...we have facilitated their safe departure from India. This means that our diplomats and their families have now left diplomatic immunities. Keep diplomats safe, no matter where they're from and where they're sent to. Immunities allow diplomats to do their work without fear of reprisal or arrests from the country they're in."

"They are a fundamental principle of diplomacy and this is a two-way street. They only work if every country abides by the rules. A unilateral revocation of diplomatic privilege and immunities is contrary to international law. It is a clear violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and threatening to do so is unreasonable and escalatory. If we allow the norm of diplomatic immunity to be broken no diplomats anywhere on the planet would be safe," she said, adding that Canada "will not reciprocate," according to CTV news.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of External Affairs had called for a reduction in Canadian diplomats in India citing their continued "interference" in New Delhi's "internal matters".

While addressing the press briefing on October 5, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "Given the much higher presence of diplomats or diplomatic presence here...and their continued interference in our internal matters, we have sought parity in our respective diplomatic presence. Discussions are ongoing on the modalities of achieving this".

"Given that Canadian diplomatic presence is higher, we would assume that there would be a reduction," he added.

On being asked if the reduction in the number of Canadian diplomats could see a decrease in the number of visas issued by the Canadian High Commission in India, Bagchi said, "It's up to the Canadian side, who they choose to staff the High Commission with...our concerns are related to ensuring parity in diplomatic presence".

He further added that India's primary focus is on two things; having an atmosphere in Canada, where Indian diplomats can work properly and in achieving parity in terms of diplomatic strength.

Notably, the ties between India and Canada have been strained after Canadian PM Justin Trudeau in September alleged that the Indian government was behind the fatal shooting of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India has out rightly rejected the claims, calling it 'absurd' and 'motivated'. Notably, Canada has yet to provide any public evidence to support the claim about the killing of Nijjar.