The High Court of Bombay at Goa on Thursday granted the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government a 24-hour extension to file an affidavit on Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s health, PTI reported. The court had asked Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma on Tuesday to submit the report.
The court is hearing a petition filed by social activist and former Goa Forward Party spokesperson Trajano D’Mello seeking Parrikar’s health report. D’Mello has demanded that Sharma evaluate Parrikar’s health by consulting a panel of expert doctors. The Goa Forward Party is a member of the ruling coalition.
Parrikar, who is suffering from pancreatic cancer, has not made a public appearance since his return to the state after being discharged from Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences on October 14.
On Thursday, Advocate General Dattaprasad Lawande – representing the state government – told Justice RM Borde that the affidavit could only be submitted on December 7 as Sharma was abroad on an official trip, PTI reported. The court scheduled the next hearing for December 11.
Meanwhile, Congress legislators have claimed that Parrikar’s absence has weakened governance in the state. The party, which has repeatedly staked claim to form the government, had written to President Ram Nath Kovind last month to warn against the dissolution of the Assembly by Parrikar through “foul play”. The Congress has backed D’Mello’s petition.
More than 100 protestors, including activists, residents and Congress supporters, had marched to Parrikar’s residence in Panaji’s Dona Paula on November 20 demanding his resignation. The Goa BJP had criticised the protest and pointed out that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was also ill while in office.