The Supreme Court of India on Thursday permitted thirty private tour operators to apply for Hajj permit before the Ministry of External Affairs. Fresh applications, along with all necessary details have been directed to be filed on or before May 27.
The Bench, comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Ashok Bhushan directed consideration of the applications on merits strictly, in accordance with law. They were further directed to be decided by passing a reasoned order on each application before June 29.
The petitions were filed by private tour operators (PTOs) who are sending pilgrims for Hajj. The petitions were based on the apprehension that their applications, if made or those which are pending with the authorities for grant of permission to undertake Hajj Yatra for the current year 2016 are likely to be rejected, thereby rendering their grievance infructuous.
During the hearing, it was submitted by Additional Solicitor General Mr. Neeraj Kishan Kaul that so far no decision has been taken on any of the applications made by these PTOs. He also submitted that fresh applications would be permitted to be made till May 27. The applications, he submitted, would then be examined, considered and decided in accordance with law on its individual merits by the authorities concerned and a reasoned order would be passed on each such application by June 29 under intimation to each applicant.
The Court expressed satisfaction with the suggested mechanism and directed fresh applications to be filed.
Read the order here.