KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) plea against the acquittal of Axact Chief Operating Officer (CEO) Shoaib Shaikh in a money laundering case.
The FIA counsel informed the judges that it had requested the interior ministry to appoint a special prosecutor to pursue the case, assuring the court that the special prosecutor would be appointed within three days.
On the other hand, the accused Axact CEO and his lawyer did not appear before the court, on which the bench asked, “Where is Shoaib Shaikh?” A junior lawyer replied that Shoaib and his counsel Anwar Mansoor Khan were engaged in the Supreme Court (SC).
Putting off the matter till Monday (February 26), a bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto directed the Axact CEO to ensure his presence in court for the next hearing.
Earlier, FIA had approached SHC against the verdict of district and sessions court that acquitted the Axact chief in the case. Hearing an application under section 265-K of the Criminal Procedure Code, the trial court had relieved him from the charges.
In its plea challenging the trial court’s verdict, FIA had maintained that the district and sessions court did not follow due procedure while acquitting Shoaib. The FIA prosecutor requested SHC to order the setting aside of the previous verdict, maintaining that sufficient evidence was available against the Axact CEO.
Shaikh had been facing charges of money laundering and sale of fake degrees. The scandal came to light when the New York Times published an investigative report in which the publication alleged that Axact was involved in selling fake degrees online.