Axact fake degree case: SC orders trial court to conclude case within six weeks

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday directed a trial court in Karachi to conclude the Axact fake degree case within six weeks.

The case was being heard by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar who was informed by the deputy attorney general that four cases pertaining to the fake degree mill were ongoing—two in Karachi and one each in Islamabad and Peshawar.

The deputy attorney general further said that “Axact had submitted a request to conclude the case ongoing in the court in Islamabad”.

At this, the chief justice asked, “The case is being heard in a Karachi court since 2015, what has been the cause of delay?”

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General Bashir Memon then told the court that the investigation officer had recorded his statement.

“In the case that was heard in an Islamabad court, the sentence has been suspended while bail has been granted in the second case that was heard in Karachi. The trial was not allowed to take place in the case in Peshawar,” Memon added.

Justice Nisar further remarked, “Suspension of sentences has become a tradition. Shoaib Sheikh maligned the name of the country and his trial will take place in the Supreme Court.”

The court then directed that from the case ongoing in Karachi, one be concluded within six weeks and the other within three months. “If a decision is not given within the time-frame then clarification will be needed,” the bench said.

The hearing of the case was then adjourned till October 31.

On October 23, the Islamabad High Court had suspended Axact’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shoaib Sheikh’s 20-year jail term and granted him bail against surety bonds worth Rs500,000. In July, an Islamabad sessions court had convicted Sheikh and 22 others in the fake degree scam case and awarded 20 years imprisonment under different charges.