ISLAMABAD  - The Supreme Court on Monday directed attorney general to examine the issue of multiple FIRs lodged against Geo Television across the country in the light of law.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Mushir Alam heard the constitutional petition filed by Independent Media Corporation (IMC) on behalf of Geo TV Network for consolidation of dozens of FIRs lodged against it across the country.

The court also issued notices to all the advocate generals of the four provinces directing them to assist the court on the instant matter after the attorney general suggested the court that being the provincial matter, advocate generals of the four provinces should be asked to assist the court in the instant matter.

Appearing on the notice, Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt informed the court that the matter pertaining to FIRs lodged across the country against the Geo TV is being under investigation. He, however, said that as the matter relates to provinces where complaints have been registered against Geo TV therefore it would be appropriate that advocate generals of the four provinces should be asked to assist the court in this regard.

Earlier, during the proceeding the court inquired from Akram Sheikh, counsel for Geo Television, to invoke the jurisdiction of learned high court for being the simple case of criminal nature.

Akram Sheikh, however, contended that the matter was of high public importance as the country's popular TV channel has been blocked, which is violation of article 19 of the constitution.

He said being the public importance case the petition was filed under article 184(3) of the constitution as billions of people have been deprived of watching the popular TV channel.

He informed the court that around 39 FIRs have been lodged against Geo Television in the four provinces. He requested the court to consolidate all these FIRs for eventual quashing of proceedings on them. He said that article 19 ensures freedom of speech and expression while article 10-a gives the right of fair trial to his client. He pleaded that the instant case falls in the jurisdiction of article 184(3) of the constitution for being public importance.

The hearing was adjourned for a week.

In its petition, the Independent Media Corporation had prayed to the apex court to order the law enforcement and investigation agencies and lower courts all over the country to submit copies of all the criminal complaints, FIRs and petitions filed under section 22a that contained allegations of blasphemy regarding the show.

It had further requested to issue directives for consolidation of all FIRs that might have been registered in various parts of the country and to restrain the law enforcing and investigating agencies from registering any new case, but to forward all pending and new FIRs containing allegations of blasphemy before the Supreme Court for eventual quashing of proceedings on them.

The petitioner had also requested the court to order the relevant law-enforcing agencies in all the provinces to take required steps for protection of the petitioners, management and staff of the Geo, Jang Group, along with their offices all over the country.

The federal government through secretary interior, chief secretaries of the four provincial governments and chief commissioner, Islamabad had been made as respondents in the instant petition.