Govt asks for fresh trail in Axact fake degree scandal

Govt asks for fresh trail in Axact fake degree scandal

ISLAMABAD:The federal government Tuesday requested the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to issue directions for a fresh trial of the Axact CEO Shoaib Shaikh and others, in fake degree case.

A division bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the federation plea challenging trail court decision of a dismissed from service Judge Abdul Qadir Memon.

Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Raja Khalid Mehmood pleaded that a fresh new trial should be conducted as the previous judgment in the fake degree scandal case came from a judge who had been removed from service for allegedly taking bribe from the accused and was become party in the case.

He argued that the IHC had removed Judge Memon from service for taking a Rs 5 million bribe for acquittal the accused adding that previous trail now had no value as well.

Justice Attah Minallah inquired that if a new charge would be framed against the accused then a new trial would be ordered.

To which DAG apprised the court that new charge would be framed and statement of witnesses would also be recorded again.

On bench query, DAG also informed the court that the accused was in judicial custody in Landhi jail Karachi.

The court directed Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to serve Shaikh with notices through Landhi jail superintendent to appear before the court on March 20 either in person or through counsel.

It may added that the Axact case had surfaced in May 2015 when "The New York Times" published a report which claimed that the company sold fake diplomas and degrees online through hundreds of fictitious schools.

FIA conducted raid across Pakistan, including a raid at the office of Axact located in DHA Islamabad on May 19, 2015 and arrested its employees, directors and CEO of the company and a trail was initiated against them.Shoib in defense took the plea that FIA could not produce substantial evidence against the suspects and requested the court for acquittal which was accepted by dismissed Judge Memon for lack of evidence in October 2016. APP/AFP