Apex court seeks details of Haj quota

May 8th, 2012 - 11:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday sought details of the reservation of 11,000 seats for various categories in India’s annual Haj quota, saying the subsidy for the pilgrimage and sending a goodwill delegation to Makkah should be done away with.

The court said that it would look in greater detail how the special quotas for Haj were allocated.

The categories among which the 11,000 seats are distributed are Khadim-ul-Hujjaj, Mehram (women), Bohras, pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir and Lakshadweep, states/union territories with Haj applications in excess of the quota, the Haj Committee of India and the central government.

An apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai said: “We would like to know in greater detail how the special quotas…are allocated.”

Pronouncing the interim order, Justice Alam said: “We have some initial reservations on allocation of seats on recommendation by dignitaries and eminent persons. We direct the Union of India to file further affidavit stating in greater detail the way the quota of 11,000 seats is being allocated for 2012 Haj.”

“We would also like to know in greater detail the procedure followed by the Haj Committee of India and the state Haj committees in making selection for sending pilgrims for Haj,” the court said.

“We would specially like to examine the functioning of the Haj committees of the states where the number of applicants exceeds the quota allotted for the state,” the order said.

The court directed the Haj Committee of India to file an affidavit giving full details of the process of selection of pilgrims from the applications made to the state Haj committees.

The affidavit should also give details of the charges realised from the pilgrims and the facilities made available to them.

The order impleaded the Haj committees of Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka and issued notice with a direction to file affidavits giving details of the selection process and stating state wise how selections were being made for sending pilgrims for the 2012 Haj.

The court said that the affidavits must be filed within two months and directed the listing of the matter July 23.

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