NEW DELHI: India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the government to scrap a state policy of subsidising the travel of thousands of Muslims to Mecca for Haj.
“We hold that the policy is best done away with,” said Justice Altamas Kabir, striking down New Delhi’s argument that pilgrims were entitled to the state help once in their lifetime.
The court also scrapped New Delhi’s plans to send a nine-member official team to Mecca for Haj.
The court stipulated that only two officials should go to the world’s biggest gathering in Saudi Arabia – guardian of the two holiest Muslim places in the cities of Mecca and Medina.
According to official records, nearly 125,000 Indians enjoyed the Haj subsidy last year.
The government subsidises state-run Air India, which offers cut-rate tickets to Indian pilgrims.
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