Plea for medical tests on Parrikar dismissed

Not incapable of occupying post: HC

The Bombay High Court at Goa on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking medical examination of ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, upholding his right to privacy, and also ruling that ill-health does not make one incapable of occupying a Constitutional position.

The petition, filed by local politician Trajano D’Mello, had sought to know the health status and a medical examination of Mr. Parrikar, who is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer. An order issued by Justices Prithviraj K. Chavan and R.M. Borde said the petition was a “half-hearted attempt to make serious inroads in the territory of privacy of an individual, and is not at all appreciable.”

“The Constitutional functionary, merely on account of his ill-health, is not incapable [of occupying] the Constitutional position which he occupies on account of his proven majority before the House of Legislature, and any individual who has rival political interest has to adopt a democratic method to unsettle the political power,” the order said.

The Court order called the demand that a panel of doctors examine Mr. Parrikar and the outcome be reported to the public an “outrageous overstepping in the territory of privacy of an individual and which would be impermissible in law to grant such request”. ”There is no legislation in place which can form the foundation of the claim raised in the petition,” it said, while dismissing the petition.

The Court also rebuked the petitioner for suppressing his political links and basing his petition on “unverified newspaper reports”, saying, “The litigation initiated under the garb of public interest litigation shall have to be categorised, as has been branded by the Supreme Court, either as a ‘publicity interest litigation’ or a ‘private interest litigation’ or a ‘political interest litigation’.”

Mr. Parrikar has been suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer and has been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, U.S. and Delhi for nearly nine months. With the Chief Minister working from his private residence for a long period, the Opposition and sections of civil society have been demanding his resignation.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:10:12 AM |

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