LAHORE – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday ordered new Haj group organisers to approach the ministry of religious affairs for verification of their documents.

LHC Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial was hearing a petition filed by Ashfaq Ahmad Mirza and others against non-allotment of Haj quota to new HGOs despite court orders.

The ministry officials appeared and informed the court that names of short listed new HGOs had been sent to Saudi Haj ministry for verification. They further told that the verification of new organisers’ licence agreements by Saudi Embassy could not be done as the applicants did not submit the required documents to the ministry.

However, the chief justice ordered ministry to complete the process by next date of hearing, Sep 7. The court directed new Haj organisers to submit required documents to the ministry on September 5 and 6.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that many companies had been added among short listed new HGOs which did not have the required tax status. The court directed ministry to review the list and exclude such companies.

The petitioners submitted the court had ordered religious ministry to allot a quota of 5000 pilgrims to new HGOs and complete the process by June 18.