New Delhi: Terming the VIP quota for Haj pilgrims as a 'bad religious practice', the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would lay down the Haj policy for 2012. Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai were concerned over difficulties being faced by Haj pilgrims going to Mecca every year.

Taking exception to the government quota for the Haj pilgrims, the court said, “May be it has a political use but it is a bad religious practice. It is not really Haj.”

The Apex Court was hearing the centre's petition challenging the Oct 5, 2011 Bombay High Court order by which it was directed to give quota of 800 Haj pilgrims to private operators so that it may not be wasted.