The Supreme Court Monday refused to examine whether collection of interest by the Haj Committee on the lump sum to be paid in advance by pilgrims was “not Islamic”.
A bench led by Justice Ranjana P Desai pointed out that the interest accrued on such sum to be paid in advance by the pilgrims was eventually utilised by the Haj Committee for pilgrimage only and hence argument over the religious line was not to be entertained.
“We will not comment on such issues. After all, whatever interest they (Committee) earn, they utilise it for the benefits and facilities of the pilgrims only. This money is not being used for any other purpose,” said the bench while dismissing a PIL.
The PIL, filed by Khuddam-Ul Haj-o-Umrah Foundation, had alleged misappropriation and mismanagement of fund to the tune of Rs 600 crore annually by the Haj Committee. It contended that it was against the religious tenets to let the Committee collect any interest on the money being deposited in advance by the pilgrims.
The petition had also contended that the mandatory rule to purchase Saudi riyals from the Haj Committee and the non-floating of global airline tender for ferrying pilgrims were in violation of the court orders. It asked for a CAG probe into the financial dealings and funding ahead of the Haj pilgrimage.
However, a reply from the Haj Committee negated all the allegations, prompting the bench to say that the accusations were “baseless”.