Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed a judge’s plea for a show cause notice issued against him.
The judge in question was Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Pervaizul Qadir Memon who acquitted owners and directors of Axact on the billion dollar fake degree case. The suspended judge was accused of receiving a bribe and had a show cause notice issued for this purpose.
His counsel, Hafiz Arafat Chaudhry, has challenged the show cause notice which was issued by the Islamabad High Court registrar.
Should File a Formal Complaint
IHC Justice Aamer Farooq dismissed his petition, arguing that the petitioner could not challenge the notice at this stage. The bench commented that if the judge did not agree with the administrative order he can file a formal complaint at the appropriate forum.
The court ruled his petition has non-maintainable and dismissed it.
Passed Over for Promotion
The petition stated that two members of the departmental promotion committee had disregarded his promotion (which he was expecting) and instead recommended that the judge should be removed from service, citing his acquittal of the State vs. Shoaib Ahmad Shaikh case and others.
Mr. Memon said that the decision wasn’t taken on a bribe, adding that,
The evidence brought on record by the prosecution could not have been made basis for the conviction of the accused persons involved in the case.
No one from the prosecution doubted his decision as the presiding officer of the court, he noted.
The Axact Case
The Axact scandal started in 2015 when an article surfaced on the New York Times. The piece mentioned that Axact had sold fake degrees and diplomas through several hundred ghost/fictitious schools, earning “tens of millions of dollars annually”.
Mr. Memon acquitted Axact owner Shoaib Shaikh for this case. The federal government challenged the judge’s decision in IHC where the deputy attorney general said that an executive from Axact had pleaded guilty in a US court.
Admission Before Court
30 year old Umair Hamid admitted the charges against him in front of District Judge Ronnie Abrams. The Department of Justice’s website notes,
Operating from Pakistan, Umair Hamid helped fraudulently rake in millions of dollars from unwitting American consumers who paid to enroll in, and get degrees from high schools and colleges that did not exist,