New Delhi: A day after the Court of Appeal of Qatar reduced the sentence of eight Indian ex-Navy personnel, the government said that it will discuss the next possible steps with the legal team and the family members of the former Navy men.

"The sentences have been reduced but I don't have any additional information to share until we see the detailed judgement. We would urge you again not to engage in speculation. The interests of Indians and their family members is our foremost concern. We will also, of course, be discussing the next possible steps with the legal team and the family members," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at the weekly media briefing on Friday.

He was answering queries on the Qatar court commuting the death sentences of the eight Indian ex-Navy personnel.

A Qatar Court on Thursday commuted the death penalty of eight ex-Indian naval officers who were arrested last year in the Dahra Global case. The sentence has now been reduced to jail terms.

MEA had said in a release on Thursday that it will continue to take up the matter with the Qatari authorities.

"We have noted the verdict today of the Court of Appeal of Qatar in the Dahra Global case, in which the sentences have been reduced. The detailed judgement is awaited. We are in close touch with the legal team as well as the family members to decide on the next steps," it said.

"Our Ambassador to Qatar and other officials were present in the Court of Appeal today, along with the family members. We have stood by them since the beginning of the matter and we will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance. We will also continue to take up the matter with the Qatari authorities. Due to the confidential and sensitive nature of proceedings of this case, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this juncture," the release added.

Eight Indian nationals have been imprisoned in Qatar since October 2022 and were accused of alleged spying on a submarine programme. The retired naval personnel were sentenced to death by a Qatar court on charges that have not yet been made public officially.

Answering queries, Bagchi said there is a treaty on transfer of sentenced persons between India and Qatar.

"Yes, there is such an agreement. However, I'm not sure if it is in effect because it requires ratification by both sides and I would have to check whether the Qatari side has ratified that agreement. I'm not yet sure on that so I would have to check whether it is in force. This is something that we will have to find out," he said.