Union Ministry Of Minority Affairs To Look Into States With No Haj Committee: SC
A petition was filed before the Supreme Court submitting that India does not have a functioning Haj Committee since the year 2019. The Apex court has now asked the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs to deal with the issue where some states have yet not formulated their Haj Committees.
The Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala recently asked the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs to deal with the issue where some states have yet not formulated their Haj Committees. The bench was hearing the case Hafiz Naushad Ahmad Azmi v. UoI And Ors.
In this case it was put forth before the bench that India does not have a functioning Haj Committee since the year 2019. It was also stated that most of the states do not have an operational Haj committee and if the data is to be considered then 1 in 19 states have the said committee while the others are still waiting for the state governments to take the necessary steps in this regard.
The court had earlier ordered that the respective state governments are to put forth the information about the Haj committees set up in their state by way of an affidavit and the court also directed the state to submit the names of the members of these committees.The committee needs to be set up as per the provisions of the Haj Committee Act, 2002 including Sections 3, 4 and 17.
The petitioner in the matter at hand submitted that even though a union committee has been set up it does not have the required members.
In the light of the aforementioned, the bench said that the ASG will have to look into the fact that even though the committee is set up at the union level it has several vacancies and accordingly a remedial action will have to be taken expeditiously.The court further said that matters have to be looked into by the Union Ministry Of Minority Affairs with the states where such committees have not been set up yet.
Section 3 in The Haj Committee Act, 2002
3. Constitution and incorporation of Haj Committee of India.-
(1) With effect from such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint in this behalf, there shall be constituted a Committee by the name of the Ha Committee of India.
(2) The Committee shall be a body corporate, by the name aforesaid, having perpetual succession and a common seal with power, subject to the provisions of this Act, to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, to create a charita le trust or endowment, and to contract and shall by the said name sue and be sued.
(3) The Committee shall have its headquarters at Mumbai and as and when the Committee considers it functionally necessary, additional regional offices may be opened in consultation with the Central Government.
Section 4 in The Haj Committee Act, 2002
4. Composition of Committee.- The Committee shall consist of the following members, namely:-
(i) three members of Parliament of whom two are to be nominated by the Speaker of the House of the People from among its Muslim members, and one by the Chairman of the Council of States from among its Muslim members:
(ii) nine Muslim members of the Committee shall be elected, three from those States sending largest number of pilgrims during last three years and one each from the zones as specified in the Schedule, in such manner as may be prescribed
(iii) four persons not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India nominated by that Government to represent the Ministries of External Affairs, Home, Finance and Civil Aviation, as ex officio members;
(iv) seven Muslim members shall be nominated by the Central Government from among the following categories of persons, namely:-
(a) two members who have special knowledge of public administration, finance, education, culture or social work and out of whom one shall be a Shia Muslim;
(b) two women members, out of them one shall be Shia Muslim;
(c) three members who have special knowledge of Muslim theology and law, out of them one shall be a Shia Muslim.
17. Establishment and incorporation of State Haj Committee.-
(1) With effect from such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint in this behalf, the Government of a State shall constitute a Committee by the name of the......[ name of the State] Haj Committee
(2) The State Committee shall be a body corporate, by the name aforesaid, having perpetual succession and a common seal with power, subject to the provisions of this Act, to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, to create a c aritable trust or endowment, and to contract and shall by the said name sue and be sued.
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