The Supreme Court on Friday directed States to inform it about the status of constitution of Haj committees within two weeks.
A bench of Justices S A Nazeer and J K Maheshwari also asked the states to specify the names of committee members. “States to file affidavit on if Haj Committees have been constituted and to specify the names of committee members,” the bench said.
The direction came after senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, appearing for the petitioner, informed the bench that many States have not filed compliance reports.
The top court had earlier sought response from the union government on a plea seeking the establishment of Central and State Haj Committee for States according to the provisions of the Haj Committee Act 2002.
It had issued notices to the Centre, External Affairs Ministry, Haj Committee of India, and others while seeking their responses within six weeks.
The apex court was hearing a plea filed by a former member of Central Haj Committee Hafiz Naushad Ahmed Azmi contending that the Centre and the States have failed to comply with the strict provision of the Haj Committee Act, 2002 and have failed to appoint Committees under the statute.
The petition had also sought direction to strictly follow the provisions of the 2002 Act especially concerning just and proper utilisation of the Central and state Haj funds created under chapter IV of the Haj Act.
“The respondents have failed to appoint Haj committees at the Central and state level which is resulting in a situation where the pilgrims are rendered orphans, with none to take care of their interest. The committees are statutory committees, performing statutory functions and their non-appointment is not only violation of the provisions but also violates the Constitution,” the plea had said.