"TIME'S up" for the UK Government over its "unforgivable dereliction of duty" over the fate of a Scottish man facing the death penalty in India, MPs say.

It's been 1335 days since then-newly-wed Jagtar Singh Johal, nicknamed Jaggi, was "kidnapped" by Indian authorities while shopping with his wife on an ordinary street. He's still in jail, pending trial and facing a potential death sentence over a confession he says was signed under electrocution and other torture.

UN agencies have petitioned the Indian government over his treatment and two international charities – Redress and Reprieve – have taken up his case. 

Today angry MPs pressed the government on why they have not designated his incarceration an arbitrary detention – a move that would allow them to tackle it in a different way.

The Westminster Hall debate came on the same day that Martin Docherty-Hughes, MP for the Singh Johal family, revealed how the Indian government had sent some MPs a smear document claiming he'd never raised torture claims with a judge and has deliberately tried to "subvert the judicial process" from his cell in sprawling Tihar jail.

It further claims he has regular medical examinations, frequent consular visits and is trying to trick Scots into supporting him.

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"It is seen that every time a hearing is scheduled, tactics are used to find deficiencies in documentation, etc, to stall and slow the process while raising the political pressure from the UK from among the Scottish communities who he persuades, with information, not based on correct facts, that justice in India is slow," the document states. 

"The ploy of Johal’s team is to discredit the legal process of India and not allow the judicial process to progress. There is apparently an intention to prove that Johal is deprived of justice by Indian judicial system. The matter is deliberately being politicized to meet this objective."

In a Westminster Hall debate this afternoon, a brace of MPs from across the political spectrum voiced their anger, frustration and "despair" over Jaggi's treatment – and what they called the government's "failure" to help the Sikh human rights blogger as he faces charges of involvement in a terror-related murder plot against Hindu figures.

Docherty-Hughes, MP for Dumbarton, recalled how initial torture reports had prompted promises of "extreme action" from the government. "Both and I and the Singh Johal family would be content right now for a simple ruling of arbitrary detention," he said. 

But after MPs including Labour's Stephen Kinnock, the SNP's Kirsten Oswald, and Alistair Carmichael of the LibDems repeatedly asked why they will not declare Jaggi a victim of arbitrary detention, Asia Minister Nigel Adams failed to answer.

Adams said the "complex" case has been raised by officials and ministers with their Indian counterparts "more than 70 times" and the case "does remain a priority for the UK Government and it must be resolved in line with due process and without unreasonable delay". 

READ MORE: Wife of 'tortured' Scot Jagtar Singh Johal wins Home Office fight

He said the Tory administration has "carefully considered all available information" and is acting in way it judges "to be the most effective".

But, highlighting how long Jaggi has been in jail, SNP MP Docherty-Hughes said: "The government has failed to answer the question time and time again. Time's up  – three prime ministers, four foreign secretaries, so many under-secretaries I've lost count. What will it take for the government to answer the question, is this arbitrary detention?"

Earlier in the day, Deputy Speaker Rosie Winterton told the Commons she didn't consider it "appropriate for MPs to be lobbied in this way, nor that judicial processes should be interfered with”, in reference to the Indian government's briefing.

Labour's Matt Western accused the government of an "unforgivable dereliction of duty" and putting trade deals first, saying the "country of Jagtar's birth has fallen silent and abandoned him," while Carmichael questioned why, if Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's treatment by Iran was deemed an arbitrary detention, Jaggi's is not. And he called on ministers to act now to avoid the danger of a death sentence.

Oswald referred to the case of Chennai 6 Scot Billy Irving, who spent years in an Indian jail on terror charges before being released home to his family.

Taiwo Owatemi of Labour called Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab "lazy and hands-off" and the debate repeatedly heard how he's failed to meet with Jaggi's family, including his solicitor brother Gurpreet Singh Johal.

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Owatemi further raised the attempts to refuse Jaggi's wife Gurpreet Kaur permission to live with her in-laws in Scotland amidst concern for her safety in the Punjab region.

The debate heard how MPs had been inundated with messages of concern from constituents and fears that "if it can happen to him it can happen to any one of them". Concern was said to be particularly strong amongst critics of Indian PM Narendra Modi. 

John McDonnell of Labour said: "The government needs to recognise the immense, immense worry there is in our own country at this particular case.

"It is undermining confidence that our government will actually protect its citizens when they travel abroad. I urge the government, urge them to listen to the reps that have been made so eloquently today that I fully agree with and to act. For goodness sake, we need to see speedy action on this appalling case."

Jim Shannon of the DUP said Jaggi had been "kidnapped basically from the street by balaclava-covered men", saying: "Today we speak for one of ours who has been detained and mistreated."

Hitting back at criticism from Docherty-Hughes this evening, the High Commission of India (HCI) in London said: "Providing authentic facts to well-wishers of JS Johal who have been writing to HCI about his allegations of arbitrary detention does not constitute lobbying. India and UK celebrate our shared commitment to rule of law and due process of law."