Punjab

PIL AGAINST NAVJOT SINGH SIDHU: HIGH COURT DOES NOT ACCEPT PLEA OF AG QUESTIONING 'MAINTAINABILITY' OF PIL

May 11, 2017 03:42 PM

Chandigarh (Face2News)

PIL against  Cabinet Minister Navjot Sidhu-HC does not accept the plea of Advocate General who questioned “maintainability’ of the PIL-Court puts searching questions to both sides-PIL adjourned to 2.8.2017 after marathon arguments for about two hours by both sides: 

A Division Bench of the HC comprising Justices S.S. Saron and Darshan Singh heard marathon arguments of the parties for about two hours. The Bench asked the Advocate General to respond to various issues raised by petitioner HARI Chand Arora in his PIL questioning the conduct of Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu . The Advocate General argued that the PIL was not maintainable under the 2010-Guidelines issued by the High Court, but the Bench could not be persuade, and rather observed that an issue of public importance has been raised. The Advocate General vehemently argued that  the Code of Conduct for Ministers is not enforceable through Courts.

At this stage, the Bench repeatedly asked him” Assuming that Code of Conduct is not enforceable through Courts, then question would arise-whether it is worth the paper on which it is written?”.”Lakhs of people follow the examples set up by Ministers, and public conduct of Ministers is being watched by public. In such a situation, can a Minister  resort to a conduct which is not in consonance with dignity and  status of a Cabinet Minister? The Bench asked the Advocate General. The Advocate General stated that as regards the legal issue, he has answered it, and requested the Bench to  adjourn the case to some other date, to enable him to peruade the Bench that Navjot Singh Sidhu has not violated the Code of Conduct for Ministers.

On the other hand, the petitioner Mr. H.C. Arora, Advocate, argued that Cabinet Minister is not only participating in ‘Kapil Sharma Show”, which is a comedy show, but is also appearing in an advertisement, and promoting a “magic machine” for learning spoken English. Such conduct of a Minister must be interfered. He argued by quoring 2004 Judgment of Supreme Court in Jailalitha’s case, wherein referring to enforceability of Code of Conduct, the Supreme Court has observed “Morally speaking, can there be one law for small officials of the Government and another law for the Chief Minister? In matters of such nature, is the Code of Conduct meant only to be kept as an “ornamental relic in a museum, but not to be practiced? These aspects worry our conscience” . “A stage has come, when the High Court should come forward to interfere in the matter of Code of Conduct, as a Cabinet Minister promoting “magic English  Speaking Machines” is something unheard of in the past.” Argued the petitioner with vehemence. 

 The Advocate General however, interjected and told the Highcourt that this advertisement was shot by Navjot Singh Sidhu several years ago, but on being asked by the petitioner, Advocate General could not disclose as to when the contract of this advertisement is expiring.  At this stage, on being asked by the Bench to assist it by showing case law that High Court can issue directions for enforcing the Code of Conduct, he sought an adjournment to further study this aspect of the matter. The Bench thereupon adjourned the PIL to 2.8.2017 for further proceedings. 

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