Additional Meetings At today’s session, Judge Atta Rabbani heard the report, which was delivered by cops on a stretcher.
According to the report, Zahir’s medical check was repeated several times.
“The accused was also examined by a psychiatrist who declared that he is [mentally] fit,” the report added.
Usman Riaz Gul, a junior lawyer who represented Zahir at the previous hearing in the absence of the accused’s counsel Advocate Sikandar Zulqarnain Saleem, had at the time asked the court to issue directives for Zahir Jaffer’s medical check-up, who was carried to the courtroom by policemen while sitting hunched over in a chair.
“The mental condition of the accused has worsened,” Gul had said, upon Zahir’s arrival.
Earlier, Akram Qureshi, counsel for Therapyworks owner Tahir Zahoor, a co-accused in the case, told the court that Zahir was unable to move after the judge took notice of his absence.
Judge Rabbani stated at the time that he had issued a letter to the jail officials instructing them to do a medical examination on Zahir.
After being taken to the courtroom on a stretcher from the bakhshi khana today, lawyer Sajjad Ahmed Bhatti — the attorney for gardener Jan Mohammad and gatekeeper Iftikhar, two of Zahir’s domestic workers charged in the case — asked the judge to return Zahir to the court’s temporary prison.
“The accused’s condition is not good,” he stated, requesting that the court return him to the bakhshi khana.
During the last session, Judge Rabbani explained that he did not wish to bring the accused out of pity, but other counsel had sought his presence in the courtroom.
He was alluding to the last session, during which Gul repeatedly called the judge’s attention to Zahir’s absence.
The court has previously denied an application requesting the creation of a medical board to examine the status of Zahir’s mental health, noting in its written judgement that the plea was raised “only to avoid criminal culpability.”
The order, issued on January 6, said that the plea was entered as the trial was coming to a close and that the topic had not been mentioned before the court previously.
“Facts and attending circumstances reveal that the accused is not suffering from mental illness [and] such afterthought plea has been raised just to get rid of criminal liability,” the order read.
At today’s hearing, Basharatullah Khan, counsel for Zahir’s father and co-accused Zakir Jaffer, cross-examined investigating officer (IO) Abdul Sattar’s statement of the case’s investigation, which was recorded at the previous hearing.