New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the earmarking of an “exclusive quota” for Haj pilgrims aged 70 and above and preference being given to pilgrims in the age group of 65 to 69 years who have already applied for the pilgrimage five times or more.
The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A. M. Khanwilkar and Justice D. Y. Chandrachud said that people who have crossed 70 years would get the benefit of a separate exclusive quota and those between the age group of 65 to 69 who have applied five times or more would also get the benefit of preferential consideration for the pilgrimage.
The court order came in the course of the hearing of a plea by the Kerala Haj committee seeking more quota for the Haj pilgrimage as it has far more applicants and not many of them can be accommodated.
It has contended that Bihar, which gets more quota for Haj pilgrims, is not able to utilise it as there are not many applicants there.
Having directed the creation of a separate Haj quota for pilgrims who have crossed 70 years of age, the court ordered the listing of the matter for July 10 for final hearing.