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February 14, 2018



Axact CEO, officials’ acquittal: FIA tells IHC bribed judge’s decision, holds no legal value

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday issued notices to Axact CEO Shoaib Sheikh and other respondents while hearing an appeal of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against their acquittal. A division bench, comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, issued notices to all the respondents.

The bench decided to hear the matter on day-to-day basis from Feb 22 in line with the Supreme Court’s directions. A deputy attorney general told the bench that the trial judge who acquitted Axact CEO and other officials had admitted to receiving Rs5 million as bribe before an IHC departmental promotion committee.

He said the case needed a retrial as the acquittal decision by a corrupt judge carried no legal value. In the last hearing, Justice Athar Minallah had asked DAG Raja Khalid Mehmood what was the legal worth of the trial court’s acquittal decision if the judge had admitted to receiving bribery.

In the Tuesday's hearing, the Axact counsel told the court that the FIA had appointed a special public prosecutor in the case that was against the law. Justice Athar Minallah said the court would hear his objection and observed that the matter would be decided on merit.

Additional Sessions Judge Pervezul Qadir Memon who acquitted 27 Axact officials on October 31, 2016 had confessed before a departmental promotion committee that he had received bribe.

The committee comprised Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani. The IHC suspended Memon on June 7, 2017 after issuing him a show cause notice. The notice was issued by the IHC chief justice. The IHC administration has completed inquiry against ADSJ Memon and referred the matter to the administrative committee.

In the present petition, the FIA through its deputy director Cyber Crime Circle in February, 2017 challenged the acquittal of 27 Axact officials. The FIA has nominated Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Axact Shoaib Sheikh, wife Ayesha Shoaib and 25 others.