Ill health doesn’t incapacitate one to hold constitutional posts: Bombay HC

Panaji: The Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking medical examination of ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, while upholding his right to privacy and also ruled that ill-health does not make one incapable to occupy a constitutional position.

The order also stated that the petition, which was filed by local politician Trajano D’Mello and sought to know the health status of Parrikar who is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, 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 to occupy 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 by Justices Prithiraj K. Chavan and R.M. Borde said.

The Court also said that seeking Parrikar’s medical examination by a panel of doctors and to report the outcome to the public is an outrageous overstepping in the territory of privacy of an individual and it would be impermissible in law to grant such a request.

“There is no legislation in place which can form foundation of the claim raised in the petition,” it states.

The court also said that “seeking strictly private and confidential information” which deals with the privacy of the Chief Minister, without making the latter a party to the petition was “not entertainable”.

The Court also chided the petitioner for suppressing his political lineage and basing his petition on “unverified newspaper reports”.

“The litigation initiated under the garb of public interest litigation shall have to be categorized, as has been branded by the Supreme Court, either as a ‘publicity interest litigation’ or a ‘private interest litigation’ or a ‘political interest litigation’,” the order further said.

Parrikar is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer and has been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, New York and Delhi for nearly nine months.

The Opposition has been demanding Parrikar’s resignation on account of his prolonged ill-health.