SC slices VIP Hajj quota
High Courts Restrained From Entertaining Writ Petitions In The Issue
New Delhi, July 23: The Supreme Court has directed reduction in the Government’s discretionary Hajj quota seats for pilgrims from 5050 to 300. It has also restrained all High Courts from entertaining any writ petition for registration of pilgrims for the 2012 Hajj pilgrimage.
A Division Bench consisting of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai further directed that the number of seats to be allocated under the discretionary quota by the President be reduced to 100, Vice President to 75, Prime Minister to 75 and the External Affairs Minister to 50.
The Apex Court further ruled that 200 seats would be reserved for the Hajj Committee of India (HCI).The court was informed that 11,000 seats have been reserved under government quota to be allocated for Hajj 2012.
Government had said 2550 seats are reserved for recommendations by dignitaries and eminent persons for needy nominees who have not been successful in the “Hajj Qurrah” of the year.
The seats under the government's discretionary quota had gone up to 5,050 as it had transferred and merged 2500 seats reserved for the Bohra Community which got 3000 seats for Hajj 2012 directly from the Saudi Authorities.
After limiting the seats under the dignitaries’ quota and the HCI, the Bench said that remaining seats would go to the Hajj committees of various states and Union territories. While restraining all High Courts from entertaining writ petitions, the Division Bench further said that if any such petition by any pilgrim or private tour operator is filed in any High Court, it will have to be transferred to the apex court.
The order was passed by the Court after going through an affidavit filed by the Government in compliance with the court’s May 8 direction.
The Court had on May 8 asked the Government to furnish details on how its discretionary quota seats for Hajj pilgrims are allocated to applicants on recommendation by dignitaries and eminent persons. It had passed the order saying “we have some initial reservations on allocation of seats on recommendation by dignitaries and eminent persons”.
The Apex Court had also directed the Government to phase out Hajj subsidy within a period of 10 years and use the same funds for social and educational development of the Muslim community.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 24 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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