The Goa government on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court’s Goa bench that a mere diagnosis of a disease should not be interpreted as a person’s inability to hold an office, reported The Indian Express. The government was responding to a petition seeking the health status of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The court reserved its verdict on the petition, Prudent Media reported.
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. Social activist and former Goa Forward Party spokesperson Trajano D’Mello had filed the petition and demanded that Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma evaluate Parrikar’s health by consulting a panel of expert doctors. The Goa Forward Party is a member of the ruling coalition.
“[Former Apple CEO] Steve Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” the state’s counsel told the bench. “All his achievements are post-diagnosis. Mere diagnosis doesn’t mean Manohar Parrikar is not fit to hold the chair of CM [chief minister].”
Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma told the court that Parrikar is fit to function as chief minister, Prudent Media reported. “He addresses meetings with officers and takes decisions,” Sharma said.
On Tuesday, the bench had asked the state government if it can submit a report on the status of the chief minister’s health in a sealed cover, reported The Times of India. The bench had also asked the chief secretary if he can claim that the chief minister has a right to privacy over his health status and inquired if he had consulted Parrikar before filing the affidavit in response to the petition.
Sharma had said that the petition was not maintainable as it was against the fundamental right to privacy.