The Supreme Court Monday reduced the VIP quota for Haj pilgrimage
from 5,050 to just 300.
The apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana
Prakash Desai said that under the reduced quota, the Indian
president can recommend 100 pilgrims, the vice-president 75, the
prime minister 75 and the minister for external affairs 50.
The remaining 2,250 VIP seats will move to the general Haj
Similarly the court said that 2,500 seats earmarked for Haj by the
Bohra Muslims, which largely went unavailed and were counted under
the discretionary seats, too would go to general category.
The court also reduced the seats given to Haj Committee of India
from 500 to 200.
Having cut the discretionary quota, including those for VIPs and
those given by the Haj committee, to bare 500, the apex court
appointed H. Ahmedi as amicus curiae (fried of court) to assist it
in improving the functioning of the central and the state Haj
The apex court order came in pursuance of an affidavit filed by
the central government.
The affidavit was filed over the court's May 8 order seeking
details of allocation of special government quota of 11,000 seats.
The categories among which the 11,000 seats
were distributed are Khadim-ul-Hujjaj, Mehram (women), Bohras, pilgrims from Jammu and
Kashmir and Lakshadweep, states/union territories with Haj
applications in excess of the quota, the Haj Committee of India
and the central government.
While expressing reservation over the manner in which seats were
being allocated to favoured pilgrims under the four discretionary
quotas, the court said: "We have some initial reservations on
allocation of seats on recommendation by dignitaries and eminent
After limiting the seats under
dignitaries quota and the HCI, the bench said remaining seats
would go to the Haj committees of various states and Union
It also said no high court will entertain any writ petition for
registration of pilgrims for the Haj 2012.
The bench said if any such petition by any pilgrim or private tour
operator is filed in any high court, it will have to be
transferred to the apex court.