KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed on Thursday the lawyer of Axact Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh to submit a medical certificate to prove that his client was too ill to attend the hearing of a money laundering case against him.
A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, directed Shaikh’s lawyer to submit his medical certificate by February 21.
The bench was hearing an appeal filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), challenging the order passed by a Karachi district and sessions judge on August 24, 2016, which acquitted Shaikh in a money laundering case.
The Axact CEO was accused of having illegally transferred Rs170.17 million to a Dubai-based firm, Chanda Exchange Company, in April 2014.
Chanda Exchange Company’s directors, Mohammad Younis and Mohammad Junaid, were named as co-accused in the case, which was registered under an FIR 51/15 under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947.
Sohail Ahmed Leghari, the South additional district and sessions judge, had discharged Shaikh from the case. The FIA argued that after the completion of investigations, a final charge-sheet was submitted on March 31, 2016 to the trial court, which accepted it.
It was argued that due to Shaikh’s continuous absence from the trial court, the charge could not be framed and proceedings were being adjourned often.
The FIA pleaded to the court to set aside the trial court’s acquittal order. It further requested that the accused may be convicted or the case returned to the trial court to record the prosecution’s evidence afresh.
On the last hearing, the court had issued a notice to the Axact CEO to appear on Thursday. However, he failed to appear. The judges expressed their displeasure over his failure to attend the hearing. Shaikh’s lawyer informed the SHC that his client was too sick to come to court.
Last week, the Supreme Court, while hearing a case in suo motu action regarding fake degrees, had directed the Islamabad High Court and SHC to decide all the matters relating to Axact within 15 days.