The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday said that in the absence of any law, it can’t issue directions to the Punjab government to restrain local bodies minister Navjot Sidhu’s participation in a comedy show on a private TV channel. But at the same time it reiterated that some mechanism should be there to deal with such issues.
The HC bench of justice SS Saron and justice Darshan Singh was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) by petitioner lawyer HC Arora who has sought directions to the government to restrain Sidhu from participating in ‘Kapil Sharma show’.
“People emulate these things (conduct)...No doubt those in public life should observe restraint, but how far can we(courts) go? We can’t start moral policing of politicians,” the bench said as Punjab advocate general Atul Nanda argued that there were no statutory provisions to stop Sidhu from participating in the show nor there was any breach of code of conduct.
Meanwhile, the petitioner lawyer argued that the minister was not only participating in a comedy show, but was also appearing in an advertisement, promoting a “magic machine” for learning spoken English. “Such conduct of a minister must be interfered,” Arora said citing a judgment wherein the Supreme Court had observed that could there be one law for small officials of the government and another set for the ministers. Nanda, however, clarified that the advertisement was shot by Sidhu several years ago.
The matter has been adjourned for August 2, asking the petitioner to show whether direction could be issued to Sidhu by the high court.