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Sidhu in comedy show: HC raises propriety, jurisdiction issues

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday observed that Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s appearance on a popular TV comedy show has propriety issues but added that it is not clear if the high court had the jurisdiction to adjudge such a matter.

Taking up a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer-activist H.C. Arora, seeking directions to stop Sidhu from appearing on “The Kapil Sharma Show” on Sony TV, the high court division bench said it was still not convinced if it had the jurisdiction to give directions in the case.

In an oral observation, the bench said that a minister was not under the ambit of the code of conduct that was applicable on government servants.

Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda, who filed the reply of the Punjab government on Thursday on the issue, said the hearing had been adjourned till August 2.

Petitioner H.C. Arora told the media after the hearing that the high court had asked both sides (petitioner and the government) to satisfy it (high court) on the issue of its powers to adjudge the matter.

Cricketer-turned-politician Sidhu had drawn flak from some quarters for continuing his appearance on the comedy show even after becoming a Cabinet minister in Punjab in March this year.

Sidhu had defended his decision, saying that the show was his only source of income and that he was going only for one day in a week for its shooting in Mumbai.

Taking up another matter regarding conflict of interest of Punjab Cabinet minister Rana Gurjit Singh, the high court adjourned the matter.

A PIL filed against Gurjit Singh pointed out that he was the Power Minister in Punjab and also held a large number of shares of a private company which was supplying power to the government-run power supply corporation.

Gurjit Singh, who was sworn in as a minister in the Congress government on March 16 this year, is an industrialist by profession, with business interests in sugar, power and liquor sectors.

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