SC declines govt plea on VIP Haj quota

The Supreme Court Friday declined to entertain the central government's plea to defer, till next year, its 23 July order slashing the dignitaries quota of Haj pilgrims from 2,500 to a mere 300. A bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai refused to entertain the plea by Attorney General G. Vahanvati seeking the deferment of the VIP quota cut order till next year.

'My instruction are to urge the court to postpone by a year the cut in the 2,500 seats earmarked under VIP quota,' Vahanvati told the court.

The Attorney General made the plea at the end of the hearing of a batch of petitions by private tour operators, who were seeking to be registered and included for the allocation of Haj pilgrims.

The apex court by its 23 July order reduced the VIP quota for Haj pilgrimage from 2,550 to just 300.

The apex court by the said order had said that the president can recommend 100 pilgrims, the vice-president 75, the prime minister 75 and the external affairs minister 50 pilgrims.

The remaining 2,250 VIP seats will move to the general category.
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