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No ‘conflict of interest’ in Sidhu’s TV show: Punjab AG

Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda has not found any conflict of interest in criceter turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu’s working as state Cabinet minister and his work on popular ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’, an official sourse said.

Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh confirmed on Thursday evening that he has received The Advocate General’s report on the issue, CM’s Media Adviser Raveen Thukral said.

“In the circumstances, the Chief Minister said, there was no hindrance now to Sidhu’s continuation on TV shows, nor any need to change his culture portfolio,” Thukral said.

“There was, in the opinion of the Advocate General, no violation of the Constitution of India, the Representation of the People Act, 1951, or the Code of Conduct in this case. As per his opinion, Sidhu faces no legal bar in continuing with his work on the comedy show,” Thukral said.

Sidhu was made the Minister for Local Government, Tourism, Cultural Affairs, Archives and Museums.

The four-page report concludes there is no need to change the culture portfolio of Sidhu, Thukral said.

Amarinder Singh had asked the state’s top law officer to give his legal opinion on whether there was any prohibition or restriction in the continuation of Sidhu’s work as celebrity guest on ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’, as such work may amount to conflict of interest.

Citing the Constitution, the report concluded that the role and function of celebrity judge on the show is not an office of profit under the government of India/state government. It is not even an office under the government of India/state government, it said.

“Hence the continuation of such work would not invite the disqualification of holding of an office of profit within the meaning of Article 191(1),” the report said.

The Advocate General has further opined that there is no impediment to the Minister continuing with his work on the show in terms of the Representation of the People Act, which sets out various disqualifications under Sections 8, 8-A, 9, 9-A, 10, 10-A, and 11-A.

The minister’s continuation of work on the show also does not violate Clause 1(b) of the Minster’s Code of Code, the Advocate General said in his report.

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