August 15, 2016
ISLAMABAD – The Sindh High Court Monday granted bail to Shoaib Ahmad Shaikh, CEO of Axact-BOL, and 13 others in a case relating to alleged selling of fake degrees.
Shaukat Hayat, lawyer for the accused, told the court they had not been charged even after 15 months.
In June, Shaikh’s bail plea and that of four others was rejected by the District and Sessions Judge Karachi South, Sohail Mohammad Leghari.
Subsequently, that decision was challenged in the Sindh High Court.
The defense lawyer pointed out that neither a fake degree nor any complainant could be produced before the court. He said the accused were not involved in any terrorist activity and were not dangerous criminals.
Later, Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro granted bail to the accused and the co-accused who had been nominated by the Federal Investigation Agency in the case.
Faysal Aziz Khan, a senior member of BOL Action Committee told JournalismPakistan.com that conspiracy hatched against the media group had been defeated. He had this advice for rivals in the industry: “You win only by competing and not by hatching conspiracies.”
Shaikh and several of his senior managers were languishing in jail since May 2015 after a New York Times story claimed Axact, the parent organization of BOL News, was involved in selling fake degrees worldwide.
However, it is widely believed a conspiracy was hatched against BOL by some top news organizations that felt threatened by the channel's financial might and its claims of taking the Pakistani media industry by storm.
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