ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on Wednesday issued a show cause notice to ARY News host Arshad Sharif for discussing sub-judice matters on his talk show “Power Play”.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar had taken up a suo moto notice regarding the August 28 episode of the talk show in which a question pertaining to the affidavit submitted by former president Asif Ali Zardari was put up for discussion.
“Comments like these [those made in the show] are prejudicial to court proceedings,” the CJP remarked, warning Sharif of action against him. He also termed the discussion akin to “interference in court matters”.
The top judge also questioned whether the TV programme was “sponsored” by anyone, asking: “On whose direction did you conduct the programme?”
“This is a straightforward [case of a] media trial,” observed Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
“How can you discuss cases being heard in courts [during your programme]?” Justice Nisar asked Sharif.
The SC also issued notices to the attorney general, Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA)
The bench directed PEMRA to play video clips from the show during court. The hearing of the case was adjourned till September 12.
On August 28, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari had informed the Supreme Court (SC) that he does not own any properties or bank accounts abroad.
The former president had claimed this in an affidavit submitted in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case.