New Delhi: The Supreme Court has expressed displeasure over the Centre’s decision to send an official delegation along with the Haj pilgrims. Sending an official delegation with Haj pilgrims is like politicizing the affair for which the government is paying heavy subsidies, the court said.       
 
Challenging the Bombay High Court verdict, a bench of Justices comprising Aftab Alam and Ranjana Desai took exception to a high-level official Haj delegation that visits Saudi Arabia every year as state guests with all expenses being paid by the government.

This is a wrong practice which may have political colour, the bench said. Granting stay on the high court order, the Apex Court directed Attorney General GE Vahanawati and Advocate Harish Biran to frame new Haj policy for the coming year.

Explaining the religious connotation of Haj, Justice Alam said, “Islam allowed a Muslim to undertake Haj pilgrimage only if he had discharged his duties and was financially able to meet the expenses, but now the government incurs the expenses. This is wrong practice.”

(JPN/ Bureau)