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SC orders high courts to decide on pending cases against Axact
By Tariq Butt February 10, 2018
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ISLAMABAD: Soon after giving directives to place names of the CEO of the Axact, the alleged fake degree factory, Shoaib Shaikh and other accused on the Exit Control List (ECL), the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday rescinded its order.

The court ordered Shaikh, who is also the owner of Bol TV Network, to submit his written reply in the case.

The bench took back its order to place names of the accused on ECL on the request of some journalists, who were present in court. It ordered Shaikh to submit a written guarantee that he would not leave Pakistan and to hand over his passport to the high court.

During the hearing, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General Basheer Memon informed the bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, that Axact runs websites of 330 universities, which do not even have campuses.

He said that Axact is not affiliated with these universities but it is possible to get a degree within an hour at the cost of around Rs500,000. The court also directed the lower courts to suspend bails of the accused if they do not cooperate with the courts.

The court was also informed that the accused were acquitted by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) at which the chief justice asked about the veracity of rumours about the judge in the case being paid for granting bails to the accused.

The bench ordered the Sindh High Court (SHC) and IHC to promptly decide on the pending cases regarding Axact.

Justice Nisar directed the SHC to constitute a bench to hear the case within a week and give the verdict within two weeks. Justice Gul Hassan was added to the already existing one-member bench of the IHC hearing the case, which was asked to give its decision within three weeks.

‘STAFF SALARIES’

Bol TV’s former employees, who were also present in the court, said that they have not been paid since 2015. “There are around 40 affected people in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, and many others across the country,” they said.

Shaikh was issued a notice by the bench to submit his reply on an application by the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), while the channel’s former employees were also asked to submit an application.

“We will decide the case after looking at both sides,” the chief justice remarked, before adjourning the hearing for two weeks.

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