In judgment dated 8th May, 2012 on a special leave petition filed by Union of India, the Supreme Court has directed the government of India to progressively put an end to Haj subsidy over a period of 10 years and use the money profitably for upliftment of the Muslim community in education and other indices of social development. The government paid Rs685 crore as the Haj subsidy last year, up from just Rs10.5 crore in 1994.
The bench noted that the fare charged from the pilgrims was slightly less than two-thirds of the otherwise normal fare. The court quoted from the Quran to indicate that Haj was a duty for those who could afford the expense. Therefore, the Court directed the Centre to progressively reduce the amount of subsidy so as to completely eliminate it within a period of 10 years,' the court said in the interim order.
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