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LHC rejects petition to stay the execution of condemned 'schizophrenic patient'

December 06, 2018

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The counsel argues a "mental patient" can't be executed but the court rejects the argument.— AFP/File
The counsel argues a "mental patient" can't be executed but the court rejects the argument.— AFP/File

The Lahore High Court on Thursday rejected a mother's petition for staying the execution of her "schizophrenic" son Khizar Hayat, noting that the condemned was "convicted by the country's biggest court".

Hayat, a former police constable, was convicted in October 2001 for killing a fellow policeman, while a trial court had handed him a death sentence two years later.

The death row inmate's mother had moved the court, requesting it to delay the death sentence and admit him to a hospital for treatment.

Take a look: Schizophrenic and on death row: the tragic case of ex-cop Khizar Hayat

During the hearing today, a two-member LHC bench comprising Justice Qazi Amin and Justice Chaudhry Mushtaq asked the petitioner's counsel to prove that Hayat was ill and also apprise the court under which law a schizophrenic prisoner could not be executed.

Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), a law firm working for prisoners’ rights, argued the case on behalf of Hayat's mother, Iqbal Bano.

JPP Director Barrister Sarah Belal said that Khizar Hayat’s mental illness was well-documented and the jail’s own records showed that he suffered from "severe psychosis".

The counsel argued that a "mental patient" cannot be executed but the court rejected the argument, remarking that "the execution of patients is a global debate."

The petitioner reminded the court that in 2008 the jail authorities had diagnosed the then 41-year-old Hayat with paranoid schizophrenia. It prayed that the inmate can still be executed once he has recovered from his illness.

At the conclusion of the arguments, the court set aside the stay petition and specified in its order that Hayat had already been found guilty by the apex court.