Pakistan has decided to execute a mentally ill prisoner on November 2 after the Supreme Court rejected his final appeal, ruling that schizophrenia cannot be a ground for halting a death penalty as it does not qualify as a mental disorder under the Mental Health laws.
“The death warrant for mentally ill condemned prisoner Imdad Ali has been issued by the Sessions Court upon the request of the Government of Punjab. He will be executed on November 2,” said Justice Project Pakistan in a statement.
Imdad Ali, who was sentenced to death in 2001 over a shooting, was to be executed on July 26 but his wife filed a writ petition in the Lahore High Court to delay her husband’s hanging as he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
The high court rejected her plea on August 23, forcing the wife to approach the Supreme Court.
However, last week, the Supreme Court rejected the plea, ruling that schizophrenia does not qualify as a mental disorder under the Mental Health laws.
Pakistan’s apex court cited the judgment of India’s Supreme Court in 1976 case of Amrit Bhishan Gupta vs the Union of India in which the court had rejected a petition to stop execution of a man suffering from schizophrenia.
The apex court’s ruling triggered a massive outcry by local and international human rights groups.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Human Rights, also sent a letter advising Interior Ministry to stay the execution on humanitarian grounds, according to JPP.
A mercy petition was filed by Ali’s family and his lawyers to President Mamnoon Hussain on September 19, but it is still pending with his office.
Pakistan has signed international agreements which prohibit the execution of mentally ill prisoners.
Updated On: October 26, 2016