Islamabad - The Supreme Court yesterday directed ministry of religious affairs to implement court’s orders regarding distribution of quota to the Haj tour operators.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, heard the petitions of the private Haj Tour Operators.

Nazir Ahmed Bhutta, the counsel for the tour operators, informed the court that the authorities are not implementing the court’s verdicts and the ministry of religious affairs has wrongly interpreted their judgement. He said the tour operators, registered in 2005, have not been allocated quota yet, adding the ministry is not complying the court order regarding distribution of the quota. He said that they are offering Haj at the rate of Rs286,000, which is less that the rate of the federal government. He informed that high court in its judgement had asked the ministry of religious affairs to implement its judgement.

During the hearing, the chief justice remarked that the culture of nepotism and bad governance damaged the country. He said he does not know when this culture of nepotism would end and good governance would prevail in the country.

The lawyer of the operators prayed to the court to pass an order for compliance. Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed said the Lahore High Court had directed the authorities to implement the court orders.

The bench ordered the ministry of religious affairs to comply with the court’s order regarding quota to private tour operators.

The Supreme Court on May 3 had rejected the Haj Policy 2016 and restored 50:50 percent quota each for the government and the private Haj operators.

The court had questioned why the government felt necessary to change the quota for the public and private Haj operators when earlier Haj operations went well with 50 percent quota each.

The Chief Justice had said due to lack of confidence among the institutions when any step is taken, even in good faith, it is seen with suspicion. Justice Jamali had said before changing the quota the government should have taken all the stakeholders and private Hajj operators into confidence.