SC directs IHC, SHC to promptly decide over pending Axact cases

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday directed Sindh High Court (SHC) and Islamabad High Court (IHC) to promptly decide on the pending cases regarding Axact.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar conducted hearing of the suo motu notice of the Axact fake degree scandal. He maintained that Pakistan’s reputation is at stake but the investigation in the case is quite weak and frail.

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General Basheer Memon told court that the websites of at least 330 universities are being operated by Axact but have no campuses.

He said that Axact is not affiliated with the said universities while a person can receive any degree from the website on the basis of experience in an hour and at the cost of Rs500,000.

“I possess the experience in law. Can I receive a PhD degree?” the CJP inquired. “Yes, you can receive the degree of law and English on the basis of experience,” replied Memon. He also told the judge that Axact has its own platform which conducts accreditation.

The Chief Justice remarked that universities are established under a law while the Axact degree process was ongoing from 2006-2015.

“If the information is correct then a fraud was committed with the people. FIA initiated the investigation when the news came on media. What can the FIA do to prove the crime?” he asked.

Basheer Memon responded that the suspects of the Axact case in IHC have been acquitted. “Did the FIA presented evidence in the IHC?” questioned CJP.

Memon replied that the appeal is still pending following which the registrar IHC told that the February 22 has been set for hearing of the petition.

Furthermore, the Chief Justice also directed the SHC to constitute a bench to hear the case decide over it within a month.

As proceedings began today, a two-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar ordered to place the name of Axact chief Shoaib Shaikh and six other accused on the Exit Control List (ECL).

However, the order was taken back on the assurances of the accused to stay in the country.

The court was informed that around 70 per cent of the company’s revenue comes from the said universities, while the software export company also has nine other business units.

Expressing displeasure at the Peshawar High Court (PHC) registrar’s absence from court despite clear orders, the CJP took a suo moto notice of the fake degree case in the PHC and ordered FIA to file an appeal in the case.

SC also directed the lower courts to suspend bails of the accused if they do not cooperate with the courts.

Orignally published by INP

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