IHC directs bank to allow 32 pilgrims to deposit Haj dues


The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday directed bank authorities to take deposits for Haj dues from 32 intending pilgrims, who could not deposit money earlier due to unavoidable circumstances, allowing them to perform Haj this year. A single IHC bench of Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan heard a case filed by 32 aggrieved people against the conduct of the Religious Affairs Ministry and bank authorities.
Through their lawyer, the plaintiffs told the court that they were issued acceptance letters from the Ministry of Religious Affairs on August 15 with directions to obtain Haj forms from Haji Camp, which was 25 kilometres away from the ministry. When they reached the designated Habib Bank Limited branch after filling the forms, they found the bank closed since noon. August 15 was the last date for depositing Haj dues.
Making the Ministry for Religious Affairs secretary, Haj joint secretary, Haji Camp Islamabad director and HBL civic centre manager respondents, the petitioners further submitted before the court that the fulfilment of two prerequisites on the same date was designed maliciously in order to disqualify the petitioners on technical grounds.
Counsel for petitioners, Khawaja Shahid Rasool requested the court that bank authorities be directed to allow the petitioners to deposit their Haj fees and their pilgrimage be ensured.
The court conceded to the petitioners’ plea and directed bank authorities to take the deposits. The court also issued notices to the respondents to submit replies on the issue. The next hearing was fixed for August 25.