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Axact CEO Shoaib Shaikh granted bail after 15 months in custody

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday granted bail to Axact Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shoaib Shaikh and 13 others in the fake degrees case.

Justice Iqbal Kalhoro approved the bail plea against a surety bond of Rs500,000 each after hearing arguments from both parties.

All those granted bail in the case have been in custody for the past 15 months.

Lawyer for Axact, Shaukat Hayat, argued during the hearing that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the prosecution had been employing delaying tactics, pointing out that the accused have not been indicted thus far – despite a lapse of 15 months.

Hayat claimed there had been no headway in the case to legitimise his stance that the accused were entitled for bail, especially since his clients had no criminal record or allegations of involvement in terrorism.

The Axact scandal surfaced in May last year when The New York Times published a report that claimed the company sold fake diplomas and degrees online through hundreds of fictitious schools, making “tens of millions of dollars annually”. Subsequently the offices of Axact were sealed, its CEO and key officials were arrested and a probe was launched on the basis of the allegations leveled by NYT.


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