LAHORE  - The Lahore High Court on Tuesday directed Ministry of Religious Affairs to submit report regarding action taken against Haj Group Organisers (HGOs) who failed to provide promised facilities to the pilgrims last year.

LHC Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial was hearing the petitions related to Haj quota case. 

As proceedings started, the petitioner counsel appeared before the court and submitted that the Ministry wanted to create a monopoly of old tour operators and was not allocating the quota among the newly registered operators.

He said that performing Haj through old operators cost over Rs 500,000.

Additional Deputy Attorney General told the court that the Ministry was obtaining affidavits/undertaking from the HGOs about facilities to be provided to the pilgrims.

He informed the court that submitting affidavits had been made mandatory for the allocation of quota.

During the hearing of the case, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed that not the court but the Ministry was duty bound to ensure merit in allocation of quota.

He directed the Ministry to take strict action against HGOs found guilty of wrongdoings. The petitioners had pleaded that the Ministry was allocating quota without verifying credibility of HGOs.

They said some provisions of the Haj Policy 2013 had been amended with mala fide intentions and the Ministry also ignored report of Competition Commission of Pakistan in this regard.

The court adjourned hearing till June 24th.