Plea seeking subsidy for non-Muslim pilgrims dismissed

April 22nd, 2008 - 12:19 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday dismissed a plea for direction to the government to grant monetary aid, matching the Haj subsidy for Muslims, to pilgrims of other religions too. A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice R.V. Raveendran refused to entertain the plea by advocate Ashok Pandey who sought government aid for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists undertaking pilgrimage within and outside the country.

The bench dismissed the plea, saying that it cannot pass any order on it.

“We straight away cannot pass any order. You (petitioner) can go to the government and make a representation about the places where you want to go,” said the bench.

Following these observation by the bench, the advocate withdrew the petition.

Pandey had challenged an Allahabad High Court order, which had dismissed the advocate’s lawsuit for subsidy to non-Hindu pilgrims.

The advocate had contended that the government action of providing aid to Muslim pilgrims without a similar one for non-Muslims was discriminatory.

Contending that the government was providing subsidy of Rs.4 billion for Haj pilgrimage, the advocate sought similar aid to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs for their pilgrimage to religious places in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and China.

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