Black warrant likely to be issued for ‘mentally ill’ convict

Convict’s mother says Hayat unable to remember his own offspring and thinks cats are his children

Rana Yasif January 09, 2017
PHOTO: Reuters

LAHORE: With no memory of his own offspring, a “mentally unstable” convict on death row points to some kittens as the “only children who live with him and love him”. This was the man’s response when he was asked by his mother about their whereabouts of his children.

The convict’s black warrant is likely to be issued on Tuesday (today).

Khizer Hayat was a policeman convicted for the murder of one of his peers in 2003.

While talking to The Express Tribune, Iqbal Bano, the mother of Hayat, says her son did not even recognise her. She recalls her visit to jail a month ago when he started pampering kittens instead of remembering his children. When the mother tried to remind Hayat of his wife and children, he started talking to the walls. He said they manufacture gold coins and disturbed him when he wanted to sleep.

Bano says she used to meet her son for around and an hour and a half every Thursday and she now weeps when seeing his condition. She confirms that the court will hang her son to death, despite his mental condition.

The mother recalls a fake ‘pir’ ruined their lives and fraudulently sold some land that belonged to Hayat. When she asked for the money for the land, the son replied it was being spent to construct “his Pir’s home.

She adds that the man has been in jail for 16 years and demands that the government and the chief justice of Pakistan take serious note of a district and sessions judge’s decision to issue a block warrant in this case.

A reliable source says district and sessions judge Nazir Ahmed Gajana ordered his office to an issue black warrant of the convict, whose execution was suspended due to his mental state. The orders were issued after Iqbal Bano’s plea seeking the cancelation of a black warrant and the formation of a medical board to review her son’s state was dismissed a few months ago.

The counsel for the convict appeared before the court and verbally informed it that a writ petition had been filed at the Lahore High Court. However, no injunctive order staying the execution has emerged.

Hayat’s black warrant was initially issued on July 28, 2015, but later suspended on the grounds of his mental state.

Iqbal Bano submitted in a petition before district and sessions judge Nazir Ahmed Gajana, contending that her son was diagnosed with psychosis in 2008 when examined by a medical officer of the Central Jail and other physicians of the services hospital.

She contended that her son had a documented history of mental illness during confinement and he was found unstable since 2008. She added it was also established in jail medical reports that the man was suffering from “psychiatric symptoms”. She also showed reports attached to the petition.

In 2010, after court orders, a medical board was formed and it found that the convict was talking about senseless things. In 2014, the medical officer found that the Hayat’s irrelevant conversation had now started bothering other inmates who grew tired of the aggressive anti-religious talk. It said the convict’s memory had become exponentially worse. The death warrant was cancelled in 2015 and the execution was stayed by the Lahore High Court. Subsequently, district and sessions judge Chaudhary Munir Ahmed, on October 19, 2015, interviewed the convict. The judge said Hayat was asked certain questions and he answered them in a rational manner.

On May 4, 2016 the Punjab Institute of Health medical superintendent was ordered to form a special board to examine Hayat.

The board submitted, “On examination, he is communicative and most of his answers to questions are relevant. They get irrelevant in between. He also exhibited delusional thoughts during conversation. However, his orientation about time, place and person was intact. He has insight into his offence, its repercussions and his judgment is not presently impaired.” The board believed the convict was suffering from psychosis (most probably schizophrenia), but was able to execute “will” and answer questions appropriately at present.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2017.


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