ISLAMABAD – Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday took suo motu notice of the Axact fake degree scandal and sought a report from the Federal Investigation Agency within 10 days.
The chief justice remarked that those who caused defamation of Pakistan in the world will have to face punishment, adding that news reports regarding fake degree scandal rife in local an international media.
He said that if the information was correct, the authorities should take action to curb such activities, tarnishing the name of Pakistan.
“Our heads hanged in shame because of this scandal,” he said. The chief justice also observed that the case had surfaced earlier and several cases in this regard are being heard by courts.
The scandal of fake degrees was first disclosed by New York Time in 2015, accusing a Pakistan-based company, Axact of selling degrees of hundreds of fake universities and schools run by the software company to people around the world, including Indians based in the Middle East.
The expose was followed by a crackdown by Pakistani authorities but no one has been prosecuted as yet within the country.
Umair Ahmad, vice president of Axact, was arrested in the US last year and was sent to prison for 21 months after he confessed to committing wire fraud in connection with an international “diploma mill” scheme. In addition to the prison term, Hamid was ordered to forfeit $5,303,020.
Following a news story in New York Times, CEO Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh, managers Viqas Atique, Zeeshan Anwar, Mohammad Sabir and Zeeshan Ahmed and 14 other officials/employees of the software firm were booked in May 2015 year for allegedly preparing and selling fake degrees, diplomas and accreditation certificates of fictitious schools/universities through a fraudulent online system and illegally minting millions of dollars.
In its report submitted to the sessions court, the FIA alleged that evidence forensically extracted from Axact’s databases between 2010 to 2015 showed that diplomas and degrees of fake universities based in the US had been issued to over 240,000 students of different countries, Dawn reported.
The company earned more than $205 million in the process.