“Schizophrenia Not A Mental Disorder”, Pakistan Supreme Court
Now, under the Pakistan’s legal definition of “mental disorder” schizophrenia has been ruled out.
The highest court of Pakistan has omitted word “Schizophrenia” from the legal definition of ‘mental disorder’.
Imdad Ali Case
Update: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on October 31 issued a last minute reprieve to a Imdad Ali set to face the gallows this week, after his lawyers challenged the ruling using the last legal manoeuvre available to them.
Ali, a 50-year-old man, is accused of murdering a religious scholar in 2002. He is a mentally unstable person whose appeal to halt execution by hanging has been dismissed by Pakistan Supreme Court.
The execution was scheduled on 27th September which was then delayed as the Supreme Court of Pakistan gave a seven-day stay order on the petition file by Justice Project Pakistan (JPP). The doctors assessed him and declared him mentally unstable.
On Thursday the judges ruled that the execution can go ahead after finding that Schizophrenia is not a permanent condition and varies according to the level of stress, as reported by Independent. Mr Ali could be executed on 26 October despite his mental condition.
The judges dismissed the appeal to halt execution further because the case was already considered by the court. Even after the warning from the United Nations that it would be against international law to hang Imdad Ali, Pakistan reinstated the death penalty, as reported by the Independent.
The Highest Court of Pakistan has said that a large proportion of prisoners in Pakistan suffer from mental illness and it is not possible to let everyone go.
Abdul Basit, a 43-year-old man, was convicted and sentenced to death for murder in 2009. He contracted tubercular meningitis in prison which left him paralysed from the waist down. He was then not executed while Khizar Hayat was arrested by police in 2001 for allegedly killing a colleague. He was sentenced to death in 2003, but then prison officials diagnosed him with schizophrenia. The prison officials had to move him to the prison hospital, and he has been living there.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness. People diagnosed with schizophrenia may hear voices, see imaginary sights or believe that other people control their thoughts. These sensations can frighten the person and lead to erratic behaviour. Although there is no cure, treatment can usually manage the most serious symptoms.