A group of Hajj tour operators petitioned the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday, asking the apex court to set aside an earlier judgment of the Lahore High Court that had declared Hajj Policy 2011 null and void.
Al-Rahem Travels & Tours (Pvt) Limited and 16 other hajj tour operators filed the petition, making the ministry of religious affairs, through its Secretary, as respondent.
The petitioners claimed that LHC’s judgment is based on the premise that a clause in the new Hajj policy that excludes fresh applicants from being registered as Hajj group operators violates certain articles of the constitution.
Those articles pertain to individuals, not companies, the petitioners claim.
The petition also submitted that the observations of LHC that a policy decision was a subordinate legislation and is not binding upon the courts, was based on misunderstanding of a clear legal position about a policy decision
The petitioners further questioned whether the LHC judgment is not based on misreading and non reading of Hajj Policy 2011, Saudi Hajj Policy 2011 and the agreement entered into between Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Government of Pakistan and the instructions of the Saudi Government which prohibited enrolment of new HGOs in the year 2011.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2011.