Axact, Pakistan’s biggest information technology company with the potential of creating a global monopoly was charged of fraud on which not only Axact but BOL TV was also suspended of it’s legal licence, despite of no link of BOL TV’s involvement in any criminal activity being found. Here is a letter written by Axact’s legal advisor sharing facts which highlight the role of FIA in delaying justice and leaving what sh0uld be done in courts to be done on the media.
This is in reference to the biased and one-sided news item carried on the front page of Dawn, dated January 25, 2016, under the heading “mystery engulfs Axact case,” which attempts to promote a prosecution lawyer by distorting facts and reiterating unproven allegations made against the Axact management.
According to a statement issued by Axact, there is no “mystery” in case. “Contrary to the sensational headline, the Axact case is rather a sad story of delayed justice, misuse of power by some FIA officials and an unprecedented media trial, which rendered more than 5,000 people jobless without trial or conviction.
Unfortunately, the Dawn reporter has written a promotional and public relations piece for prosecution lawyer Mr. Zahid Jamil, echoing the old malicious propaganda against Axact and its management. And this has been without including the version of Axact, which is against basic journalistic norms of fairness, balance and objectivity. There is only one generalized comment from an anonymous Axact lawyer which says “the prosecution team has no case, they have found no evidence.”
In his enthusiasm to shower praise on Mr. Jamil, the reporter by design or default omitted many facts. The story ignored the basic fact that despite the passage of eight long months, the prosecution led by Mr. Jamil failed to submit the final challan in Axact case. Does it signify efficient working of the FIA and its prosecution team or a deliberate attempt to punish the accused by delaying the case without trial or conviction in violation to the basic human rights and the constitution?
The reporter dubs Zahid Jamil’s performance as a “near perfect score in winning all their battles.” Is it so? Facts paint a different picture. Out of 21 hearings in the Axact bail case before the Sindh High Court, Zahid Jamil availed 17 general adjournments, failing to appear before the court or take the case forward. This manifests that the prosecution lawyer only wanted to drag the case as much as he can. It usually takes barley two to three hearings for the High Court to approve or reject bail applications. But in Axact case, the matter remains pending even after more than 21 hearings.
In the second paragraph, the reporter lauds Mr. Jamil for his success in getting the bail applications of nine accused rejected. But he avoids mentioning that it was done by a sessions’ court, which expressed its inability to grant bail in such “a high-profile case.” An Islamabad judge approved the bail applications of Axact staffers on similar charges. Is the law of the land varies from city to city? Is denial of the bail in Karachi under the pretext that it is a “high-profile case” shows the performance of the prosecution or exposes the flawed judicial system?
After delaying the bail applications of Axact employees for more than four months and exhausting all options, Mr. Jamil pulled out of the case, showing his malafide intentions rather than brilliant advocacy. His departure has been used by the FIA to delay the case further under the pretext of hiring a new lawyer.
Mr. Jamil’s vague statement, while quitting the case, was an attempt to create a controversy out of nothing. And the same vahuness was forwarded to readers rather than presenting facts with clarity.
The other so-called big achievement of Mr. Jamil, according to the report is that he managed to get two petitions filed by Axact dismissed, which pertained to the possession of its offices and freezing of bank accounts. Here again, the report exposes either a bias or poor knowledge of the legal matters. The High Court dismissed these petitions on technical grounds rather than giving verdict against Axact. On the issue of Axact offices, the honourable court ordered FIA to handover their possession to its management as soon as possible. This gives FIA a direction to complete their job, which they have been criminally delaying for months. Regarding bank accounts, frozen under the Money Laundering Act, the High Court observed that the matter has been brought prematurely in front of it, saying that Axact lawyers have an opportunity to defend this case in the trail court.
The report also claims that certain voice recordings were played out on the court’s audio system, which led to the dismissal of bail applications. This again is factually incorrect statement. There is no audio system of its own in the court. Mr. Jamil tried to play some voice recordings on his mobile phone, but defence lawyers objected to this move. These shadowy voice recordings were not made part of the court proceedings nor served as the basis of rejection of the bail application.
The biggest fact about the case is that so far the prosecution failed to bring a single witness or evidence in the court despite the passage of eight months. The entire case is based on media trial and nothing else.
Dawn story claims that the so-called Axact scam has an estimated 200,000 victims. But why the FIA and its much-trumpeted prosecution failed to present identify any victim? Why there is no complainant in the case? The reporter just reiterated all the bogus charges earlier made by the media in an attempt to influence the course of justice and paint pygmies as heroes.
The reporter claims that finally the FIA found a “smoking gun”. We urge the FIA to kindly present whatever “smoking gun” or evidence they have before the court of law. We urge the prosecution to at least start the trial. Axact and its management are not asking for any favours. Axact and its entire team want the trial to take place so that they can prove their innocence and expose the conspiracy by vested interests against one of Pakistan’s best managed companies.
Pakistan biggest scam is that the FIA has been used by the rival businesses to damage the country’s biggest IT Company and its new venture the Bol Media Group. Axact was stifled to prevent the launch of Bol. This conspiracy already stands exposed. After more than eight months, there are only allegations against Axact, but no witness, no evidence and no trial so far. Axact plans to take legal action against all those involved in the defamatory campaign against it and its management.