The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday said code of conduct cannot be enforced on Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu. The court, while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking to restrain Sidhu from working in television shows, also said that even though it agreed that those in public life should observe some restraint, but in the absence of any statutory provisions, the code of conduct cannot be enforced on Sidhu. Advocate general Atul Nanda told ANI, “The court said code of conduct cannot be enforced on Navjot Singh Sidhu, as it only applies to government servants, not to ministers. The matter will be next heard in August to enable the petitioner find something substantive on the issue.
“According to court, this is not a subject matter on which PIL can be filed,” the advocate said. “I can say this with utmost humility, the bench was not satisfied as to whether it can order directions to CM or not,” he added. Earlier, the court deferred the PIL seeking a restrain order against Sidhu’s participation on ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ on a private television channel till May 11. The PIL was filed by activist-lawyer HC Arora, who argued that a public servant can’t be allowed to do private business.
Earlier, Sidhu while insisting to participate as a celebrity-judge asserted that it was not office-of-profit. “An office-of-profit is when the government is paying you money, employing you or giving you remuneration. A government office is an office-of-profit. This is not,” Sidhu told ANI. On the other hand, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had said that his government is taking legal advice in this regard, adding they may have to change the cricketer-turned politician’s portfolio if it is not permissible. “Issue is only on the question that he can continue appearing in the show or not. I don’t have much knowledge of the Constitution. We have asked the Attorney General to look into this,” said Captain Amarinder.