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Supreme Court Directs Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Puducherry To Constitute Haj Committees In Six Weeks

Rintu Mariam Biju
22 Sep 2022 1:45 PM GMT
Supreme Court Directs Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Puducherry To Constitute Haj Committees In Six Weeks
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The Supreme Court of India on Thursday granted an additional time of six weeks to four states to constitute Haj committees and file a compliance report in that regard. The respective states/union territories are Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Puducherry.

A Division Bench of Justices Abdul Nazeer and V Ramasubramanian also directed the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Rajasthan to file affidavits within for weeks in the matter.
This was after the counsel appearing for the petitioners informed that they had not filed any affidavits in the matter.
"Why are they not attending the Court? We may have to call upon the Chief secretaries", the Bench remarked.
The Bench was considering a matter pertaining to the constitution of a Central Haj Committee prescribed under Section 3 read with Section 4 of the Haj Committee Act, 2002.
As soon as the matter reached for hearing, the Bench asked Additional Solicitor Genral KM Natraj the reason for not constituting a Central Haj Committee.

"Natraj, why are you not constituting a central committee?"

"Rest of the States will have to do it now. State elections will have to happen. Unless they complete this process, we can't do anything", the ASG replied.
"Is it possible to constitute Hajj committees within 4 weeks?", the Court further asked.
"It is, milords. They may have to take steps to identify people. Most of the states have done", the petitioner said.
Later, the counsel for the petitioner stated that all the states that have already constituted committees may intimate ASG Natraj so that further steps can be taken.
"They (Centre) will do it. Now they have heard, no? Even if they do it, unless these people constitute, Natraj can't do anything", the Bench was quick to add.
"Electoral roll has to be completed", Natraj then said.
Before adjourning the matter, the Bench expressed its satisfaction as some progress was made on the constitution of committees.
"Let us see….We have made some progress today."
In August, the Court had directed State governments to inform the Court, by way of an affidavit, if Haj committees are constituted in their respective states. The court has also directed states to specify the names of the committee members of the Hajj Committees thus constituted.
The petition filed in this regard argued that the Centre and the Respondent States have failed to comply with the strict provision of the Haj Committee Act, 2002 and have failed to appoint Committees under the said statute.
In an earlier hearing, the Court was told that India does not have an operational Central Hajj Committee since 2019. Also, as on October 2021, only 1 out of 19 States have a fully operational State Haj Committee, whereas all other states are either awaiting actions from State Government for appointment or don't even have a committee for more than 3 years.
Case Title: Hafiz Naushad Ahmad Azmi V. Union Of India , Ministry Of Affairs Ors| W.P.(C) No. 1229/2021


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