KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday ordered restoration of the license of news channel BOL TV.
The TV channel was set to be launched in 2015 but the plan was jettisoned after parent company Axact became embroiled in a fake degree scandal.
A two-member bench headed by Justice Zulfiqar Ali Shah ordered restoration of the TV channel’s license and issued a notice to the Pakistan Electronic Regulatory Media Authority (PEMRA) seeking a detailed reply on the matter on October 6, when the case will be taken up again.
BOL counsel argued in court that Pemra suspended the channel’s license on recommendation of its council of complaints without hearing their arguments. The counsel claimed that Pemra’s decision was in violation of the body’s rules and regulations.
Earlier in August, the SHC granted bail to Axact Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shoaib Shaikh and 13 others – all of whom had been in custody for the past 15 months – in the fake degree case. Shaikh was also acquitted by a sessions court in Karachi on a different charge related to money laundering.
The Axact scandal surfaced in May last year when The New York Times (NYT) published a report that claimed the company sold fake diplomas and degrees online through hundreds of fictitious schools, making “tens of millions of dollars annually”.
Subsequently the offices of Axact were sealed, its CEO and key officials were arrested and a probe launched on the basis of the allegations leveled by NYT.