India has assured full legal assistance to 17 Indians sentenced to death for killing a Pakistani national in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the Indian consulate in Sharjah tapped prominent lawyers to argue their case.
"They are in good health. We have assured them of full legal assistance," a government source said in New Delhi.
"The appeal in a higher court will be made within two months of the judgment," the the source added.
"We will provide them whatever help they need," the source said.
The source added that the authorities in Sharjah have been meeting top-end lawyers to seek their assistance and the appeal to the higher court will be made within the prescribed period of two weeks from the date of judgment by the lower court.
The Indians are pleading innocence, the sources confirmed.
Relatives of the 17 Indians, who are mostly from Punjab, have demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention in rescuing them.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has also assured support to them, saying New Delhi will stand by them if they appeal in a higher court.
The Indians were accused of killing a Pakistani and injuring three more following a row over illegal alcohol business.
Early this week, Indian consulate officials in Dubai got access to all 17 Indians placed in an UAE prison.