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Fwd: Pilgrim subsidy for all religions sought

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  • Mahavir
    Call any Phone anywhere Free! - http://surl.in/HLGB7252953RAKKHCH Pilgrim subsidy for all religions sought New Delhi Pilgrim subsidy for all religions sought
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 8, 2006
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      Call any Phone anywhere Free! - http://surl.in/HLGB7252953RAKKHCH

      Pilgrim subsidy for all religions sought
      New Delhi

      Pilgrim subsidy for all religions sought

      Staff Reporter

      Delhi High Court directs Centre to file reply





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      Haj subsidy "a bid to get Muslim votes"
      Even some Islamic countries do not grant the subsidy
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      NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the Union
      Government on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions
      to the Government to provide pilgrimage subsidy to the followers of
      all religions on the lines of the Haj subsidy to Muslims.

      A Division Bench comprising Justices Swatanter Kumar and G.S. Cistani
      directed the Government to reply to the petition by January 4, 2007.

      "Creates ill will"


      Petitioner Ashwani Gupta through his counsel Sugriv Dubey submitted
      that the subsidy to Haj pilgrims had created ill will among the
      followers of other faiths. Further, Articles 14, 15 and 17 of the
      Constitution restricted the State from giving benefits to one
      particular religion and ignoring the others, the petitioner
      submitted. Each year the Centre gave a subsidy of about Rs. 300 crore
      to Haj pilgrims and different State governments had built air-
      conditioned rest houses for them, he said.

      The petitioner urged the court to direct the Centre to grant subsidy
      also to Hindus for pilgrimage to Amarnath and Mansarovar; Sikhs for
      pilgrimage to Nankana Saheb; Buddhists to offer prayers at Sarnath;
      Christians for their journey to Rome and to the followers of Jainism
      to visit their shrines.

      The petitioner further submitted that providing subsidy to Muslims
      for their travel to Mecca was "politically motivated" as it was aimed
      at appeasing the community by the powers that be to get their votes.

      Even several Islamic countries did not grant subsidy to Haj pilgrims,
      he added.

      The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board had also described the Haj
      subsidy as a sop to gain political mileage, the petitioner submitted.

      The State was supposed to make only administrative arrangements to
      ensure smooth celebration of religious festivals, Mr. Dubey stated.

      Malaysia model


      There are independent bodies in Malaysia that manage Haj pilgrimage
      and generate money to meet the expenses by investing the money of the
      pilgrims in fixed deposit schemes, the petitioner said.

      --- End forwarded message ---
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