ISLAMABAD - The deadline given by the Supreme Court to parliamentarians to get their academic credentials verified ended Friday midnight. As many as 77 out of the total 183 lawmakers got their academic certificates verified by the given time.

“Degrees of as many as 77 parliamentarians have been declared valid,” said HEC Chairman Javed Leghari while talking to the media after the lapse of the deadline for degrees verification.

He, however, said that more parliamentarians could be cleared, as the fresh data from the provincial offices of HEC is yet to come.

According to HEC officials out of 183 parliamentarians, the degrees of 106 were left to be verified.

On the last day, the legislators who were cleared include Pir Mohammad Ashraf Rasool, Amjad Khan Afridi, Sabina Rauf, Pir Kashif Ali Chishty, Haji Mohammad Ishaq, Arshad Laghari, Bilal Yaseen, Javed Hashmi and Mohammad Shajahan Khan.

Lawmakers who were given clean chit by the Commission during the five-day period important among them were former opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of PML-N, former federal minister Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, former Member of Punjab Assembly Nargis Faiz Malik, Afrasiab Khan Khattak of Awami National Party, former Minister Samsam Bokhari.

The apex court on April 1 had observed that the lawmakers holding fake-degrees could face criminal cases. The court gave 189 lawmakers last chance until April 5 to submit their documents for verification who failed to submit their Matric/O’Level and Intermediate/A’Level or Inter-Board Chairman Committee equivalency for verification since the degree verification process started in 2010 on the directions of Supreme Court and National Assembly Standing Committee on Education.

The HEC was also directed to expedite the degree verification process and issue announcements to apprise the parliamentarian. In pursuance of Supreme Court Judgment, the Head Office of HEC in Islamabad and Regional Centres of Quetta, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar remained open till April 5 mid night to facilitate the lawmakers.

During the period 14 universities from where the lawmakers had obtained degrees, different examination boards and Inter-Board Committee of Chairman were on board for the verification.

As many as 57 degrees have been declared as fake including the degree of former Federal Minister for Education and Training Sheikh Waqas and cases of 19 parliamentarians are currently under litigation in various courts for verification of their degrees.

The degree of former governor and minister Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo also could not be verified due to difference in dates of birth written on his ID card and academic certificates and he went into litigation.