Sindh High Court (SHC) has finally granted bail to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AXACT, Mr. Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh. Along with 13 other employees of the company, he spent 15 months behind the bar in the fake degree scam.
The chief justice of SHC approved the bail of 14 employees against a surety bond of Rs. 500,000/- each. The decision was made after hearing the arguments from both parties. It is pertinent to mention that Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) legal advisor strongly opposed the decision in the court. However, the court dismissed his objection and subsequently granted the bail.
During the hearing, lawyer of AXACT Shaukat Hayat argued that FIA and the prosecution had been using delaying tactics. Moreover, he stated that the accused are entitled to a bail since they do not have any criminal record. He also pointed out that the accused have not been charged for over 15 months due to lack of evidence. He pleaded the court for bails of the employees which was later granted.
Background of the case
Shoaib Shaikh, along with 6 directors of AXACT was detained by FIA officials on 27th May 2015. They were arrested after thousands of fake degrees were recovered from the company’s offices during a raid.
CEO of AXACT, along with 13 other employees was openly accused of preparing and selling fake degrees, diplomas and accreditation certificates of fake universities through an online system. The universities, allegedly operated by the software company did not have any physical presence in the United States of America.
According to the reports, AXACT made more than $205 million through the issuance of such fraudulent university degrees. The news was initially broken by New York Times which exposed the IT Company about its mischievous activities.
When this news took Pakistan by storm, many believed that it’s a conspiracy theory. However, FIA discovered enough evidence about the alleged involvement of AXACT in fake degree scam.
The employees of the IT Company celebrated the news by sharing sweets. They were elated and gratified after their CEO Shoaib Shaikh along with 13 other employees was released on bail.
Do you think the decision to send Shoaib Shaikh and other AXACT employees behind the bar was fair?
Image source: ProPakistani / PHOTO: AFP