This year the pilgrims of hajj are facing confusion because of the various reasons and one among them is reduction in hajj quota. The twenty percent reduction in the hajj quota has given birth to various conflicts and a bench of two members in Supreme Court has been formed on Tuesday who has nullified the orders of high court to give the hajj quotas to a new group organizers. This bench is headed by Justice Tasadduq Hussain Jilani and he said that the Lahore High Court’s decision was the representation of the court involvement in policy matters which is inappropriate therefore he has dismissed that decision.
The bench has issued these orders on the basis of petition filed by few old Hajj group organizers.
The counsel of petitioners has submitted the petition that the Lahore High Court does not have the jurisdiction to grant any Hajj quotas to new hajj group organizations. He said it is a matter of policy and that the courts do not have any authority to intervene in policies.
The petitioner further said that the organizers have spent millions of rupees on hauling and accommodating the pilgrims but the Lahore High Court has deprived them of their deserving quotas.
He appealed that they will lose millions of rupees if they are not awarded deserving quotas.
The government has forwarded the petition before Supreme Court to make money and wants to beat those who are offering Hajj tour on low and reasonable price. AAG has refuted the accusations and further said that the government is playing no role in it, adding that the old tour operators approached the higher court at their own.
Meanwhile, the new Hajj Group Organizations counsel submitted that the decision of Lahore High Court was for the welfare of the general public and not to fulfill any selfish purpose. He asserted later on that the court had given the quota to operators by offering the best rates possible.
He said the old Hajj Group Organizations, by the involvement of Ministry of Religious Affairs, are overcharging. Umar Ata Bandial who is the Chief Justice of Lahore High Court has directed the Ministry of Religious Affairs to assign quotas to those Hajj group organizers charging between Rs190, 000 and Rs247, 000 per pilgrim. The Chief Justice has ordered the ministry to divide 910 pilgrims among 18 operators. This decision might end the tug between the hajj group organizations and government and will ultimately offer the pilgrims hajj journey at a very reasonable price.
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