The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government to file an affidavit on the Haj subsidy matter, ANI reported. The apex court set the next hearing date for February 19.

On January 16, the Centre’s withdrew the subsidy for the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca. The Narendra Modi government has said that the funds would instead be diverted to providing education for Muslim girls.

The Opposition and several Muslim organisations had opposed the Centre’s decision. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) criticised the decision to withdraw the subsidy when the Supreme Court had ruled in 2012 that it should be phased out over a 10-year period, The Times of India reported.