ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Saturday expressed serious concern over debate on court proceedings in Nawaz Sharif bail plea on TV channels and asked several TV anchors and PEMRA to submit their reply.

The bench served show-cause notice to Bol TV’s CEO and its anchor Sami Ibrahim regarding the contempt of court for maligning the court proceedings regarding Nawaz’s bail. The court also asked other TV anchors including Hamid Mir, Aamir Mateen, Kashif Abbasi etc to submit their replies on the matter.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani conducted hearing on contempt of court matter against the TV anchors.

The bench observed that the court had been maligned in TV debate where several anchors had claimed an alleged ‘deal’ regarding the bail plea of Nawaz Sharif.  The court also expressed displeasure with the director general (DG) Pakistan Electronic Media Regulator Authority (PEMRA) for not demonstrating its duty properly.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that elected prime minister, judiciary and other state institutions had been maligned during talk shows of TV channels, however, the PEMRA had turned blind eye to them.

The chief justice said anchor Sami Ibrahim had confidently claimed in the TV show ‘that a deal had been done on the matter.’ Whether prime minister and judiciary were part of this alleged deal, he questioned. He said such baseless claims used to make the cases proceedings controversial.

Expressing displeasure with PEMRA DG, Justice Kiyani said the department’s people just enjoy the criticism on courts on TV channels while sitting at their homes. Justice Athar Minallah remarked that everyone had played its role to damage the country. He asked whether the PEMRA was demonstrating its responsibility properly.

TV anchor Hamid Mir said he had not used word of ‘deal’ in his programme.

After this, the court asked all the anchors to submit their answers to the bench. However, Sami Ibrahim had been directed to provide the evidence of deal which he had claimed in his programme.