Politics

Sidhu can continue with TV show: States Punjab Advocate General

25 Mar 2017 | By Anupama Vijayakumar

Following last week's controversy on whether Sidhu's appearance on a TV show amounted to bearing an "office of profit", the Punjab Advocate General confirmed it as conflict of interest.

"It is not even an office under any government" he has mentioned.

CM's Media adviser Raveen Thukral confirmed the same.

Sidhu regularly appears on comedy series "The Kapil Sharma Show".

In context: Sidhu on TV: What was said and done?

16 Mar 2017Amarinder Singh sworn in as Punjab CM, Sidhu in cabinet

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh was sworn into office , with seven cabinet ministers and two ministers of state. The oath to office was administered by Governor V.P.Badnore.

Ending speculation on being chosen as Deputy CM, Navjot Singh Sidhu was handed the portfolio of local governments, tourism and cultural affairs.

While the CM kept home affairs, Brahm Mohindra, cabinet minister was given health.

21 Mar 2017Sidhu defends TV Show, as Punjab government seeks legal opinion

The Punjab government has decided to look into the alleged conflict of interest in Sidhu's appearance as a TV show host with his duties as a minister.

While stressing on his refusal to quit from the show as well as his respect for the Captain, he noted, "Boss is always right".

Sidhu also insisted that the TV show was not an office of profit.

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22 Mar 2017Sidhu hits back at critics

Insisting that his appearance in the TV show does not interfere with his work/responsibilities in the Cabinet, Navjot Singh Sidhu hit back at critics. "The public had elected me five times..if they don't have a problem, why should anyone else", he said.

Asking if he should resort to corruption, Sidhu also added that he has no other means to supplement his income.

25 Mar 2017Sidhu can continue with TV show: States Punjab Advocate General

Office of profit

Office of Profit refers to a holding a post within the government and getting remunerated for the same. Holding a post in a government office of PSU would amount to this. Under Article 191(a) of the constitution disqualifies a legislator holding an office of profit.

LegalityIs Sidhu's appearance on the TV show legal?

Private business does not fall under office of profit. Further no constitutional provision bars Sidhu's taking part in private business.

However, Sidhu's appearance is in violation of the Code of conduct for ministers which mandates for MPs and MLAs to not associate with private businesses . The code's violation is not legally wrong.

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NotesAn alternative viewpoint

The applicability of the Code depends on the nature of Sidhu's contract with the show's producers, which is currently unknown to the public. Conflict of interest is present to the extent of the code's violation.

Mukul Rohtagi, Attorney General of India, notes that "legislators are not expected to do business under the Code as it would distract them from official duties".