The Supreme Court, hearing the Kerala State Haj Committee’s plea to have an all-India system to select those who will go on the Haj pilgrimage, asked the Centre on Monday to submit information on Haj quotas allotted to different states, PTI reported.
The bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud asked Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, representing the Centre, for a reply by Tuesday. It will hear the matter again on February 21.
The Kerala Haj Committee has contested that the current system, where lots are drawn to allot the quota, is discriminatory, the Hindustan Times reported.
The committee said Kerala has more people who want to go for Haj than some other states such as Bihar. During a hearing in January, advocate Prashant Bhushan, who was appearing for the Haj committee, said Bihar gets 12,000 Haj seats when its total number of applicants is only 6,900. Kerala, on the other hand, gets 6,000 seats when it gets 95,000 applicants.
The committee had demanded a stay on the process till the court decides on the matter, but the bench did not allow it.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, justified the current quota policy saying it was devised by the Central Haj Committee after considering the suggestions of 31 different state Haj committees.