The High Court of Bombay at Goa on Tuesday directed state Chief Secretary to respond to a petition demanding the health status of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar be made public.
Justices R M Borde and Prithviraj K Chavan made the observation while hearing a petition filed by former Goa Forward member Trajano D’Mello, who sought a health bulletin from the government, saying Parrikar has not been seen in public for months and that there were doubts on the status of administration.
In his petition, Trajano told the court that “it’s been reported Manohar Parrikar is suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer”, and that he fears the administrative decisions are not the chief minister’s alone anymore.
Trajano has asked for a panel of experts to review the health status and release a bulletin regularly as the “chief ministry’s post has to inspire confidence”.
On Tuesday, the prosecutor for the state sought more time to file its response in the matter, stating that the Chief Secretary was traveling and was expected to resume office on Wednesday.
Reprimanding him for not having kept the response ready, Justice Borde, looking into the urgency of the matter, asked the state government to file the affidavit on Wednesday.
Earlier, the government had challenged the petition saying it cannot be maintained as the chief minister “has fundamental right to privacy”. The court had told the state government that all aspects can be discussed once they respond to the petition.
Since October 14, when he returned after a brief treatment at AIIMS in New Delhi, Parrikar has not made any public appearance. He has also not returned to his official residence nor resumed office at the secretariat building.
Earlier this week, Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai had said that the Chief Minister “is in good health and also watching English movies”.