SC suspends LHC order against selection of ‘Khudaim-ul-Hajjaj’

ISLAMABAD, Jun 22 (APP): The Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended the Lahore High Court (LHC) order against selection of ‘Khudaim-ul-Hajjaj’.

A three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Ayesha A Malik heard the appeal against the Lahore High Court’s decision on the issue of selection of Khudaim-ul-Hajjaj (assistants for Hajj pilgrims).

During the course of proceedings, the Additional Attorney General told the court that the assistants were selected for the service of pilgrims. The selection of Khudaim-ul-Hajjaj was a requirement of the Saudi government, he added.

The Chief Justice asked who would pay to the of Khudaim-ul-Hajjaj for their services.

The AAG said the Khudaim-ul-Hajjaj were the employees of government departments, which would pay their salaries.

He said the government was ready to answer the questions of the high court. If the order was not suspended then the pilgrims arriving in Saudi Arabia would face difficulties, he added.

The single-member LHC Multan Bench of Justice Shahid Karim had issued an interim order on the petition of five policemen directing the Religious Ministry not to send the Khudaim-ul-Hajjaj to Saudi Arabia.

The policemen, in their petition, had stated the names of 66 employees, including them, who were selected through balloting from all over Punjab, were sent to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, but they were ignored by the ministry which instead selected its favourite persons as assistants.

During today’s hearing, the SC remarked that in general, the court did not interfere in the interim orders of the high court, but it was suspending the orders in view of the difficulties to be faced by the pilgrims.

Subsequently, the case was adjourned till date in office.