Punjab advocate general Atul Nanda has not found any conflict of interest between Navjot Singh Sidhu’s office as state cabinet minister and his working for television shows.
Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has confirmed that he has received the report of the advocate general on the issue, according to Raveen Thukral, the media adviser to the chief minister. In the circumstances, the chief minister said, there was no hindrance in Sidhu’s continuing with the TV shows. Sidhu is a permanent celebrity guest at the comedy series ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’.
In the opinion of the advocate general, there was no violation of the Constitution, the Representation of the People Act, 1951, or the Code of Conduct in this case. As per the advocate general’s opinion, Sidhu “faces no legal bar in continuing with his work on the show”.
“There is no conflict of interest between his work on the show and his office and discharge of duties as the minister of local government, tourism, cultural affairs, archives and museums for the state of Punjab,” the four-page report of the advocate general further concludes, precluding the need for any change in the culture portfolio of Sidhu, said Thukral.
The advocate general was entrusted by the chief minister with the task of giving his legal opinion on whether there was any prohibition or restriction in the continuation of Sidhu’s work as celebrity guest on a comedy show as such work may amount to a 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 rules of the government of India or the state government. It is not even an office under the government of India or the state government, it further said, adding, “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 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 Peoples Act, 1951, which sets out various disqualifications under Sections 8, 8-A, 9, 9-A, 10, 10-A, 11-A. The minister’s continuation of work on the show also does not violate Clause 1(b) of the minister’s code of conduct, the advocate general has stated in his report.