Posted by: becketfund | November 28, 2008

India: Court in Kashmir Determines Hajj Travel is under Constitutional Protection

KASHMIR – India’s High Court directed the State Government to allow 10 pilgrims to perform Hajj and deemed the government’s scrutiny of the intent of the pilgrims as irrelevant, the Greater Kashmir reported on November 28. The court also directed the state to facilitate the pilgrimage of individuals denied travel on charges of “adverse police report,” a euphemism for alleged links with militants. The State Hajj Committee had denied travel documents to 40 intending pilgrims for Hajj, citing the “adverse report.” Ten pilgrims challenged the “adverse report” in the High Court. They had described it as “interference in religious affairs and a violation of Article 25 of the constitution.”  The Court listened to arguments over the past 30 days and dismissed the charges against the petitioners (intended Hajj pilgrims) on November 27.

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