SC reasserts order reducing VIP Haj quota

SC reasserts order reducing VIP Haj quota
The Supreme Court on Friday reasserted its order reducing the government’s discretionary quota for Haj pilgrims and said it would have to be applied from this year.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai declined a request by Attorney General G E Vahanvati for implementing the July 23 from next year.
 
“We think that we are one hundred per cent sure about the correctness of our order,” the bench said.

Vahanvati submitted that the order should be applied from the next year. The apex court had on July 23 reduced the government’s discretionary quota awarded to dignitaries for those desirous for going on Haj pilgrimage by slashing it from the proposed 5,050 to 300 only.

Meanwhile, the bench agreed to the plea that there is some scope for improvement of the Haj policy as far as private tour operators were concerned.

“Although we are not in favour of making any changes in the Haj policy for 2011-12, we are fully receptive to the idea that there is a scope for improvement and the policy for subsequent years shall be framed keeping in view the suggestions by all the stakeholders,” the bench said.

Asking  the Attorney-General to come out with a fresh policy, the court said that there should not be any monopolisation by a few hundred private tour operators (PTOs) and fresh players should be permitted in private transport sector.

According to the latest government norms, only those PTOs who had an annual turnover of Rs 1 crore for the year 2009 and 2010 were eligible for ferrying the pilgrims.
 
As many as 1.70 pilgrims are expected to go on Haj this year. Out of which, 1.25 lakh are to be allocated through Haj Committee of India. The private tour operators are to be given 45,000 seats.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry