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Pak chief justice stays execution of mentally ill policeman

Pak chief justice stays execution of mentally ill policeman
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Islamabad, Jan 13 (PTI) Pakistan’s Chief Justice Saqib Nisar has suspended the execution of a mentally ill former policeman, who was scheduled to be hanged on Monday, media reports said.

Chief Justice Nisar suspended the execution of Khizar Hayat late Saturday night following appeals from the prisoner’s mother and human rights advocates calling for the suspension of his capital punishment.

The suspension came a day after a district and sessions judge scheduled Hayat’s execution on January 15 at the Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail, the Express Tribune reported.

Hayat was sentenced to death in 2003 over the shooting of a fellow officer. He has spent nearly 15 years on death row. Hayat was first diagnosed as a schizophrenic in 2008 by jail medical authorities, Dawn reported.

Justice Nisar has also fixed the case for hearing on January 14, following calls from the rights organisations to review Hayat’s case in the court.

“Taking notice of the issue, the chief justice suspended the sentence of the prisoner till further orders and fixed the matter for hearing on Jan 14,” the paper said, quoting a statement from the Supreme Court.

In 2010, the jail medical officer recommended that Hayat needed specialised treatment and should be shifted to the psychiatric facility. However, this was never done, the report said.

In a letter, Hayat’s mother requested the chief justice to visit the Kot Lakhpat jail ward for mentally ill prisoners and investigate what medicines were being given to her son.

She urged that Hayat’s medical records be investigated to determine why his treatment was not being done properly and why his condition was worsening day by day.

Meanwhile, a two-member bench comprising Justice Mansoor Ahmad Malik and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood will hear an appeal for the suspension of death sentence of Hayat, the report said.

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