The Pakistan Supreme Court on Monday stayed the execution of Imdad Ali, a schizophrenic patient who has been sentenced to death over the murder of a priest in 2002. His execution was postponed considering his condition and subsequently, notices were issued to Advocate General Punjab, Prosecutor General Punjab and Attorney General seeking their opinion, reports Dawn.
The move comes in reference to a review petition submitted by Imdad’s wife. The hearing of the case will resume in the second week of November. Imdad, 50, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and psychosis and according to the doctors, that impaired his rational thinking and the ability to take decisions and was also declared clinically insane in 2013, reports Independent. At that time, the Court proclaimed that his illness was not a permanent condition and varies according to the “level of stress.”
In her review petition, Safia Bano pleaded the Court to reconsider its September 27 judgement. She asserted that his medical records reflected that Imdad had consistently displayed symptoms of schizophrenia and had not shown any signs of improvement, reports Dawn.
The Apex Court of Pakistan received much flak for such a judgement. Maya Foa, director of UK-based legal charity Reprieve, told the Independent that it was “outrageous” for Pakistan’s Supreme Court to claim that schizophrenia is not a mental illness and “flies in the face of accepted medical knowledge, including Pakistan’s own mental health laws.”