Court indicts KP minister in fake degree case
PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Minister for Sports Syed Aqil Shah was indicted by a local court in a fake degree case on Thursday.
The court moreover fixed Nov 15 for the case’s hearing.
District and sessions judge Shehbar Khan indicted Shah on corruption charges for filing a fake graduation degree with the Election Commission of Pakistan for contesting the 2008 general elections.
The action was taken on the complaint of the regional election commissioner (REC), who said that as a case of commission of a corrupt practice had, prima facie, been made out against Shah, proceedings may be initiated against him in accordance with the law.
If convicted, the minister could be sentenced to up to three years imprisonment.
The court had also issued bailable warrant against the minister during the last hearing on October 24 for not appearing before the court but later withdrew the warrant when the minister appeared in person before the bench and fixed Nov1 for hearing.
Shah’s counsel on the occasion reiterated that his client had challenged certain decisions of the Higher Education Commission regarding his degree and the case was under trial at the Lahore High Court.
The Regional Election Commissioner had contended in his plea that Shah had contested election from PF-4, Peshawar constituency in 2008 on a fake degree as the bachelor’s degree of the accused that had allegedly been issued by the University of Punjab on Oct 15, 2002 was scrutinised and found fake by the Higher Education Commission on Aug 5, 2010.
He added that the HEC had supplied a copy of a letter of the University of Punjab wherein it was stated that no record of the accused existed there.
The complainant said that the accused had appeared before a nominated officer of the Election Commission on Nov 29, 2010, and had submitted another copy of a BA degree from University of Punjab, attested on the back by HEC, which was then sent to the HEC for verification.
However, the HEC reported that it was the same degree that had already been declared bogus.
He said that the accused produced before the nominated officer a copy of a transcript of BA marks sheet issued on March 3, 2007 by Newports Institute of Communication and Economics, Karachi.
He also submitted an affidavit, saying he disowned the BA degree from the University of
Punjab and claimed that he had attached a copy of the said marks sheet with his nomination paper.
The complainant said the said copy was also sent to the HEC for verification through Newports Institute of Communication and Economics, Karachi, but it was informed that the said marks sheet had not been issued by them.
Meanwhile, in Sept 2011, the accused produced a BBA degree issued by the American International College, Lahore, which was sent to the HEC for verification, but later, the HEC declared the said institute a non-chartered one and the degrees issued by it unrecognised by the commission.
The court today fixed Nov 15 for hearing.