SC asks Centre to accommodate 1,965 pilgrims for Hajj in age group of 65 to 69

"We direct that the persons who come within the age group of 65 to 69 years and are not successful in going on pilgrimage even once, despite applying for fifth time or more, shall also be covered," the bench said.

PTI
New Delhi, Publish Date: Mar 14 2018 12:47AM | Updated Date: Mar 14 2018 12:47AM
SC asks Centre to accommodate 1,965 pilgrims for Hajj in age group of 65 to 69File Photo

Muslims aged between 65 and 69 years, who are fifth time unsuccessful applicants for Hajj pilgrimage, have a reason to rejoice as the Supreme Court today directed the Centre to accommodate 1,965 such people for travel to Mecca this year.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud also held that its order would also apply to the sixth time or more than sixth time unsuccessful applicants falling in the same age group.

"We direct that the persons who come within the age group of 65 to 69 years and are not successful in going on pilgrimage even once, despite applying for fifth time or more, shall also be covered," the bench said.

The order came after the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs informed the top court that a decision has been taken by the ministry to cover the pilgrims in the age group of 65 to 69 years, who are fifth time applicants for Hajj in 2018.

The Ministry also told the court that the Hajj Committee of India will be advised to accommodate 1,965 individuals who are willing and meeting the criteria and the rest of the seats will be allocated to pilgrims from the general waiting list as per the standard procedure.

"In view of the aforesaid, we are sure that 1,965 persons who are in the category of fifth time applicants shall be extended the benefit of this decision and will be in position to go on pilgrimage this year.

"There can be no trace of doubt that the sixth time or more than sixth time applicants between the age group of 65 and 69 years and who have not been able to avail the opportunity to go on pilgrimage even once, shall also be given the same benefit of the Ministry's decision. We may hasten to add that the people who have crossed the age of 70 years, are, under the policy, entitled to benefit of separate exclusive quota," the bench said.

The court then fixed the plea, challenging the Centre's policy on allocation of Hajj seats, of the Kerala Hajj Committee for final hearing on July 10.

The apex court had earlier asked the Centre to apprise it by tomorrow about the total allocation of Hajj quota seats and the vacancies if any on a plea of the Kerala Hajj Committee alleging that the policy to grant state-wise quota for Hajj pilgrims was discriminatory.

The Centre had said the Union of India had been allowed by the Saudi Arabian government to send 1.75 lakh Hajj pilgrims every year and the Centre and the Central Hajj Committee, in consultation with the state Hajj panels, have devised a mechanism to distribute the quota on the basis of the Muslim population in each state.

Out of 1.75 lakh Hajj seats, 1.25 lakh seats are distributed by the state Hajj committees while the remaining seats are given to private tour operators as per the policy decision, it had said.

Earlier, the apex court, in an interim direction, had asked the Centre to file a statement with regard to the fifth time applicants who have crossed the age of 65 years and were below 70 years and have never been able to go for the Hajj.

The apex court, on January 5, had issued the notice to the Centre on the Kerala Hajj Committee's plea alleging that the policy to grant state-wise quota for Hajj pilgrims was discriminatory.

The Kerala Hajj committee, in its plea,  had referred to the example of Bihar and said it gets 12,000 Hajj seats as against the total number of applicants of 6,900.

In stark contrast, Kerala gets 6,000 seats against 95,000 applicants desirous to go for the pilgrimage, lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the committee, had said.

"As a result, every applicant in Bihar gets the opportunity to go for Hajj. However, in Kerala, the situation is unpleasant," he had said, adding that there should be an all-India draw of lots to decide who will go on Hajj.

The Kerala Hajj Committee alleged that the present quota system was discriminatory.

Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, had justified the present quota policy saying it had been devised by the Central Hajj Committee after considering the suggestions of 31 different state Hajj committees.  

Latest News

  1. Jammu and Kashmir officers posted in personal sections asked to go back to parent depts
  2. Jammu and Kashmir officers posted in personal sections asked to go back to parent depts
  1. JK Governor adviser Vijay Kumar reviews security situation in Kashmir
  2. JK Governor adviser Vijay Kumar reviews security situation in Kashmir
  1. Vohra holds all-party meet to discuss Jammu and Kashmir situation
  2. Vohra holds all-party meet to discuss Jammu and Kashmir situation
  1. Hizb ul Mujahideen owns Tral grenade attack
  2. Hizb ul Mujahideen owns Tral grenade attack
  1. 'Heartbroken' Messi fan in Kerala missing, suicide note found
  2. 'Heartbroken' Messi fan in Kerala missing, suicide note found
  1. Yashwant Sinha calls on NC vice president Omar Abdullah
  2. Yashwant Sinha calls on NC vice president Omar Abdullah
  1. New Delhi’s change of faces policy won’t make any difference in Kashmir: Mirwaiz
  2. New Delhi’s change of faces policy won’t make any difference in Kashmir: Mirwaiz
  1. Mehbooba Mufti meets Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra
  2. Mehbooba Mufti meets Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra
  1. Nine forces' personnel injured in Tral militant attack
  2. Nine forces' personnel injured in Tral militant attack
  1. First time since 1947, Sufi festival on Jammu and Kashmir border cancelled
  2. First time since 1947, Sufi festival on Jammu and Kashmir border cancelled
  1. Not inviting Er Rasheed to all-party meet exposes New Delhi: AIP
  2. Not inviting Er Rasheed to all-party meet exposes New Delhi: AIP
  1. JKLF protests against Srigufwara civilian killing
  2. JKLF protests against Srigufwara civilian killing
  1. Floral tributes paid to policeman killed in Karan Nagar militant attack
  2. Floral tributes paid to policeman killed in Karan Nagar militant attack
  1. Anantnag gunfight fallout: Shutdown, clashes in south Kashmir's Pulwama
  2. Anantnag gunfight fallout: Shutdown, clashes in south Kashmir's Pulwama
  1. BJP demands action against Azad for 'army operations killing more Kashmiri civilians' remark
  2. BJP demands action against Azad for 'army operations killing more Kashmiri civilians' remark
  1. Musharraf resigns as All Pakistan Muslim League chairman
  2. Musharraf resigns as All Pakistan Muslim League chairman
  1. ISJK chief Dawood Salafi among four militants killed in Anantnag gunfight: Police
  2. ISJK chief Dawood Salafi among four militants killed in Anantnag gunfight: Police
  1. Four militants among six killed in Anantnag gunfight; Internet suspended
  2. Four militants among six killed in Anantnag gunfight; Internet suspended
  1. Jammu and Kashmir govt makes biometric attendance compulsory for its employees
  2. Jammu and Kashmir govt makes biometric attendance compulsory for its employees
  1. Two more militants killed in Anantnag gunfight; toll six
  2. Two more militants killed in Anantnag gunfight; toll six
  1. EU launches retaliatory tariffs on US goods
  2. EU launches retaliatory tariffs on US goods
  1. Koreas discuss family reunion, humanitarian issues
  2. Koreas discuss family reunion, humanitarian issues
  1. Mobile Internet services snapped in three Kashmir districts
  2. Mobile Internet services snapped in three Kashmir districts
  1. Tral shuts on third consecutive day to mourn militant killings
  2. Tral shuts on third consecutive day to mourn militant killings
  1. Ganderbal: Rescue operation to trace drowned teacher continues on third straight day
  2. Ganderbal: Rescue operation to trace drowned teacher continues on third straight day
  1. Two militants killed in ongoing Anantnag gunfight
  2. Two militants killed in ongoing Anantnag gunfight
  1. More than 1,000 migrants drowned in Mediterranean in 2018: UN
  2. More than 1,000 migrants drowned in Mediterranean in 2018: UN
  1. Police constable injured in Karan Nagar militant attack succumbs
  2. Police constable injured in Karan Nagar militant attack succumbs
  1. Gunfight breaks out in south Kashmir’s Anantnag
  2. Gunfight breaks out in south Kashmir’s Anantnag
x
This site uses cookies to deliver our services and to show you relevant news and ads. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service.That's Fine