Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has been appointed as a Cabinet minister in the Congress government in Punjab, can continue to work in a popular comedy show on TV since there is “no legal bar” and “conflict of interest”. This was stated by state’s Advocate General (AG) Atul Nanda’s legal advice tendered to the Punjab government on Thursday.
Sidhu, who is cabinet minister for Local Government and Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Archives and Museums in the Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government, had said he would continue to participate in The Kapil Sharma Show.
In Nanda’s opinion, there is no violation of the Constitution of India, the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951, or the Code of Conduct in Sidhu’s case. In his four-page report, Nanda, has submitted, “There is no conflict of interest between his work on the show and his office and discharge of duties as a minister…”.
Raveen Thukral, media adviser to the CM, said the AG’s advice did not warrant any change in the cultural affairs portfolio given to Sidhu since his continuation of work on the television show, according to Nanda, did not violate Clause 1(b) of the Minister’s Code of Conduct.
Thukral also said that according to Nanda’s legal advice, Sidhu’s work as a judge on the show was not an “office of profit” under the Government of India or the state government.
The CM had sought the AG’s legal advice on whether there was any restriction on the continuation of Sidhu’s work as a celebrity guest on TV or if it amounted to conflict of interest.
The CM has already cleared he had no objection to Sidhu continuing to appear on TV. In a statement to one of the news channels, he had said, “How does one live without adequate income? Do they (those opposing his TV shows) want to make ministers corrupt (by stopping them from earning their livelihood)?”