Contempt notices discharged after Ministry of Religious Affairs gives in


Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Monday discharged contempt notices issued to Federal Minister Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah and Religious Affairs Secretary Azam Samaa on compliance of court orders in the Haj quota case. The chief justice passed the order on a petition filed by Ashfaq Ahmad Mirza and others for not allotting Haj quota to new Haj group organizers (HGOs) despite court orders.
Director Haj Saeed Malik and ministry’s counsel appeared before the court and submitted a compliance report stating that a quota of 190 Hujjaj had been allocated to four new HGOs in compliance with the court orders.
The counsel further said that all legal formalities were also fulfilled in this regard. After the counsel’s statement, the court adjourned the matter, directing to file a reply on a civil miscellaneous application filed by the petitioners.
The petitioners, in their petition, submitted that the court had ordered the religious ministry to allot a quota of 5,000 pilgrims to new HGOs and complete the process by June 18. However, the respondents were delaying the matter to avoid allotment of quota to new HGOs, they added.
They pleaded to the court to initiate contempt proceedings against the respondents for disobeying the court.
Earlier, the chief justice had ordered the religious ministry to allot an available quota of 190 Hujjaj to four HGOs which were short-listed as per conditions set in Haj policy 2012 and experience of Umra operations.