Court says cannot issue direction against Punjab minister Sidhu over TV show appearance

The court observed it is not convinced whether it had jurisdiction to give directions in this case.

Published: 12th May 2017 01:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th May 2017 01:51 AM   |  A+A-

Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High court on Thursday observed it cannot issue any direction against Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s participation in a television show in the absence of any statutory provisions.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by HC Arora against the Tourism and Culture Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu's participation in The Kapil Sharma Show. The court observed it is not convinced whether it had jurisdiction to give directions in this case.

“People emulate these things no doubt those in public life should observe restraint, but how far can we go? We can’t start moral policing of politicians,” a bench of Justices SS Saron and Darshan Singh observed.

While arguing the case, Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda pointed out that in the absence of the provisions, the court cannot interfere. “Though there is no convention too, but even if it is assumed that it existed, the court can’t issue a direction for enforcement of a convention in the absence of any law,” he said.

Nanda on Thursday filed the reply in the court on behalf of the State government. He maintained that Sidhu has not violated the code of conduct for ministers.    

On the other hand, the petitioner argued that the Cabinet Minister is not only participating in the comedy show, but is also appearing in an advertisement, and promoting a "magic machine" for learning spoken English. Such conduct of a minister must be interfered with, the petitioner submitted.  

Arora quoted a 2004 judgement of the Supreme Court in Jayalalitha's case, wherein referring to enforceability of Code of Conduct, the apex court had observed that "morally speaking, can there be one law for small officials of the government and another law for the chief minister...?"


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