Friday Feb 16 2018

IHC dismisses judge for receiving bribe to acquit Shoaib Sheikh


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Thursday removed an additional district and sessions judge from service after he confessed to receiving Rs5 million for acquitting Shoaib Sheikh in Axact fake degree scandal case, according to a notification issued Thursday.

IHC Registrar Raja Jawwad Hassan Abbas issued the notification of Pervaiz-ul-Qadir Memon's removal as additional district and sessions judge.

The hearing over the fake degree case was held on October 31, 2016, in which bail was granted to Sheikh, chief executive officer of Axact.

The issue came to the fore in May 2016 when The New York Times published an article, claiming Axact sold fake degrees online through hundreds of fictitious schools.

After the issue surfaced, the offices of the company were sealed and its chief executive officer and other officials were arrested.

The Supreme Court, hearing the suo motu notice of the Axact scandal on February 9 this year, had ordered the Islamabad and Sindh high courts to wrap up the appeals against the suspects' acquittal within weeks.

On Tuesday, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) also pleaded before the IHC against the trial court's order acquitting all the accused in Axact fake degree case.

Deputy Attorney General Raja Khalid Mahmood pleaded the bench to nullify the suspect's acquittal, noting that the additional district and sessions court judge had accepted receiving a bribe for exonerating the accused.

The hearing was then adjourned until Feb 22 after the court sought a response on the current status of the judge.

Similar appeal in SHC

On Monday, the FIA filed a similar appeal in the Sindh High Court against the acquittal of Axact chief Shoaib Sheikh and other accused by a district court in the money laundering case against them.

The two-member SHC bench issued a notice to the Axact chairman, its chief executive officer, and FIA to appear before it on Thursday (today).

Sheikh, however, did not appear before the SHC.

At this the court expressed its displeasure and ordered Sheikh's counsel, Imdad Advocate, to present his client's medical certificate in court and also summoned Sheikh at the next hearing on Feb 21.