ISLAMABAD: The Sup­reme Court on Saturday cancelled the hearing of a case related to the ‘bogus’ degree of the director general of the National Accoun­tability Bureau (NAB), Lahore, retired Major Shahzad Saleem, after the petitioner excused from appearance before the court for not being well.

The apex court was scheduled to hear the petition filed by a journalist against the MSc degree of NAB DG Shahzad Saleem on Nov 12 (Monday). However, the registrar office of the Supreme Court on Saturday de-listed the said case from the cause list. A notice in this regard said, “It is notified for information of all concerned advocates/advocate on record and concerned parties that the following case [alleged fake degree case] fixed on November 12, 2018 in final cause list before bench comprising Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah is delisted.”

It was disclosed later during the day that the petitioner Asad Kharal requested the court to put off the hearing since he could not appear for being unwell.

Retired Major Shahzad Saleem, the Lahore DG NAB, who claimed to have the consent of the NAB chairman to appear on TV in several talk shows including Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath (Dunya TV), Off the Record (ARY), Nadeem Malik Live (Hum TV), Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath (Geo News) and Awaz (Samaa TV) over the past few days and discussed the matter pertaining to investigation of cases.

The opposition parties condemned his appearance, arguing that he had conducted the media trial of opposition members, attempted to influence the so-called cases against members of the National Assembly, provided details of the matters that are sub judice, revealed details of confidential and secret NAB documents and maligned the reputation of the members of the parliament.

In one of the TV programmes, the matter related to the alleged bogus degree of Major Shahzad Saleem also came under discussion. The NAB DG claimed that he possessed a genuine degree that had been verified by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) as well.

Earlier in April 2018, the HEC had informed a court that the campus where Shahzad Saleem was awarded the MSc Computer Science degree was not recognised.

The HEC regional centre, Peshawar, submitted a reply before the Peshawar High Court on a petition filed by a student of Al-Khair University that the “degree of Mr Shahzad Saleem was verified by HEC Regional Centre, Peshawar, inadvertently.”

The HEC spokesperson, however, confirmed that the HEC stood by the attestation of his degree.

Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2018