ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday declared Lahore High Court’s (LHC) judgment against allocation of a quota of 15,000 pilgrims to the old Hajj Group Organisers (HGOs) null and void, Express News reported.
A two judge-bench, headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, accepted the federal government’s appeal against the LHC’s July 15 ruling.
The federal government had earlier challenged the LHC's decision and Additional Attorney General (AAG) Atiq Shah – who drafted the government’s appeal – had told The Express Tribune that the LHC did not have jurisdiction to issue judgment on executive policy issues.
He had said if the high court order was not suspended at this stage then Hajj operations might be affected as the Saudi authorities had expressed satisfaction over the Hajj Policy 2014.
Similarly, the Hajj Organisers Association of Pakistan has also challenged the ruling.
Justice Khalid Mehmood Khan of Lahore High Court had declared the Hajj Policy 2014 to grant quota of 15,000 pilgrims to private Hajj tour operators as unlawful.
The detailed judgment, issued on July 15, stated that there was a huge financial difference between the expenses of Hajj through private tour operators and the government of Pakistan, adding that the government was charging Rs272,000 per pilgrim whereas tour operators were charging even more than one million rupees per pilgrim.
The LHC had said it was the duty of the government, as well as the private operators, to assist Muslims in the performance of Hajj and not to burden them to an extent where it becomes impossible for a Muslim to perform this sacred duty.