A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking directions to restrain Navjot Singh Sidhu from participating in a television show was declared infructuous Tuesday in the Punjab and Haryana High Court after the petitioner told the Court that the show was discontinued last month. Activist and lawyer Hari Chand Arora had approached the High Court in April seeking directions to restrain Sidhu from participating in a comedy television show and also an advertisement promoting a device on English learning. He had said his participation in the programme and advertisement violates the code of conduct and conventions governing people in public life.
During the resumed hearing of the case before the division bench of Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal and Justice Amit Rawal, advocate Arora informed the Court that the channel has stopped the broadcast of the programme from September 2. The division bench disposed of the plea after the
A division bench during the hearing of the case in May had observed that the underlying question in the issue is of propriety and self-restraint. “We have no doubt that it is a serious issue but how far can the court extend its jurisdiction. We cannot start moral policing on politicians after all they are elected representatives. We may agree but tell us how do we legally enforce it,” the division bench of Justice S S Saron and Justice Darshan Singh had observed on May 11 hearing. Both the judges have retired since then.
Though no notice had been issued to the Punjab government or the minister in the PIL, Advocate General of Punjab Atul Nanda during the earlier hearings had contested the maintainability of the petition and said the conduct rules only apply to civil servants and not politicians. “The petition is misconceived. The petitioner has relied upon the conduct rules which are not supposed to apply to the minister.” Nanda had said.