Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday took notice of media reports regarding the scheduled execution of Khizer Hayat, a mentally ill prisoner on death row, and suspended his sentence till further orders, according to a press statement issued by the apex court. Moreover, the chief justice also fixed the matter for hearing on Monday (tomorrow). Earlier in the day, Hayat’s mother Iqbal Bano had moved the court calling for the suspension of his death sentence on the grounds of mental illness. On Friday, a district and sessions judge in Lahore had scheduled the execution of Hayat – a death-row prisoner diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia – for January 15 at the central jail in Kot Lakhpat. The request filed by Hayat’s mother called for Supreme Court’s attention to the fact that a mentally ill prisoner was being sentenced to death. It stated that the judgment passed by the Lahore High Court was not in accordance with law and the prison rules. It argued that the court had “mixed the conviction with execution and thereby has dismissed the writ petition on wrong premises”. It further argued that neither the medical history of the petitioner’s son had been taken into account nor had the medical board’s reports been considered which establish the prisoner’s ailment. Hayat was sentenced to death in 2003 over the shooting of a fellow police officer. He has spent nearly 15 years on death row. He was first diagnosed as a schizophrenic in 2008 by jail medical authorities. On Monday, a two-member bench comprising Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood will hear the case. Published in Daily Times, January 13th 2019.