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Friday, May 20, 2016

“(a) Issue a Writ, order or direction in the nature of Mandamus commanding and directing the respondents to accept application for registration and issue Registration Certificate as PTO under Category II for conducting Haj Tour, 2016; Issue a Writ, order or direction in the nature of Mandamus commanding and directing the respondents to consider the right of first registration to the Petitioner for conducting Haj Tour, 2016-2017;



                                                                  Reportable
                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                         CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

                        WRIT PETITION NO. 239 OF 2016



      Subhan Tours & Travel Services               Petitioner (s)


                             VERSUS


      Union of India                               Respondent(s)

                             WITH

   WRIT PETITION Nos. 844 & 845 OF 2015, 70, 71 & 72 of 2016, 831 of 2015,
  166, 211, 246, 263, 279, 280,318, 319, 320, 325, 344, 286, 317, 64, 362,
               363, 364,310, 360, 328, 369, 368 & 262 of 2016



                       J U D G M E N T



Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.
1)    This decision shall dispose of  all  the  writ  petitions  because  as
stated by the learned counsel appearing for  the  parties,  all  these  writ
petitions essentially involve common issues.
2)    These writ  petitions are filed by the writ petitioners under  Article
32 of the Constitution of India for claiming following reliefs.
“(a) Issue a Writ, order or direction in the nature of  Mandamus  commanding
and directing the respondents to accept  application  for  registration  and
issue Registration Certificate as PTO under Category II for  conducting  Haj
Tour, 2016;

Issue a Writ, order or direction in the nature of  Mandamus  commanding  and
directing the respondents to consider the right  of  first  registration  to
the Petitioner for conducting Haj Tour, 2016-2017;

Pass such other and further orders as this Hon’ble Court may  think  fit  in
the interest of justice and equity.”

3)    The writ petitioners  are  private  tour  operators  (PTOs)   who  are
sending pilgrims for Hajj.  According to them, they are duly registered  and
qualified tour operators who have so far undertaken several tours  for  Hajj
successfully in the past and there is nothing against  any  of  them,  which
may debar them from undertaking the similar tour this  year  also  which  is
essentially a tour for the benefit of pilgrims going for Hajj.
4)    It appears from the reading of the  writ  petitions  that  these  writ
petitioners have a grievance based on some kind of apprehension  that  their
applications, if made or those which are pending with  the  authorities  for
grant of permission to undertake Hajj Yatra for the current year  2016,  are
likely  to  be  rejected  or  would  be  rejected   thereby   making   their
apprehension a reality and grievance infructuous.  It  is  essentially  with
this kind of  apprehension  asserted  in  the  writ  petitions,  these  writ
petitions are filed for grant of aforementioned reliefs.
5)      Shri  Neeraj  Kishan  Kaul,  learned  Additional  Solicitor  General
appearing for the respondent-Union of India at the very outset  fairly  made
a statement  that  so  far  no  decision  has  been  taken  on  any  of  the
applications made by these  PTOs  (writ  petitioners)  by  the  authorities.
Learned counsel also stated that let  each  writ  petitioner  make  a  fresh
application for grant of permission with necessary details and documents  as
prescribed latest by 27.05.2016 to the concerned authorities and  each  such
application  once  made  would  be  examined,  considered  and  decided   in
accordance with law on its individual merits by  the  authorities  concerned
and reasoned order would be  passed  on  each  such  application  latest  by
29.06.2016 under intimation to each applicant.
6)     Though  learned  counsel  for  the  writ  petitioners   and   learned
Additional Solicitor General argued the matter with  reference  to  previous
orders passed by this Court on the issues sought to be raised,  we  are  not
inclined to go into any of these questions because as  mentioned  above,  it
is not necessary to go into it at all in the light of the statement made  by
the learned Additional Solicitor General. We, therefore, express no  opinion
on any of the issues.
7)     Learned  counsel  appearing  in  three  writ  petitions  namely  Writ
Petition Nos. 262, 263 and 364 of 2016, however,  made attempt to urge  that
the cases of these three writ petitions involve  some  different  point.  We
have heard the learned counsel and  find  that  at  this  stage  it  is  not
necessary to go into the merits of writ petitions.
8)    In  the  light  of  aforesaid  discussion  and  keeping  in  view  the
statement made  by  the  Additional  Solicitor  General  on  behalf  of  the
respondent-Union of India, we dispose of these  writ  petitions  finally  by
granting liberty to each writ petitioner to make a  fresh  application  with
all the necessary details with the documents  as  prescribed  for  grant  of
permission to take the pilgrims for Hajj for the  year  2016  on  or  before
27.05.2016 to the prescribed authority.
9)    On such application(s)  being  made,  the  concerned  authority  would
examine, consider and decide each such application on its merit strictly  in
accordance with law and keeping in view the law laid down in  the  decisions
of this Court in  Union of India & Ors. vs. Rafique Shaikh  Bhikan  &  Ors.,
2013 (4) SCC 699,   Order dated 07.08.2014 passed in Special Leave  Petition
(c) No. 20743/2014 entitled Union of India & Ors. vs. All  India  Haj  Umrah
Tour Organizers Association & Ors., Order dated 07.08.2014  passed  in  Writ
Petition (civil) No. 480/2014 etc.etc. entitled   Jeddah  Travels  &  Jeddah
Hajj Group vs. Union of India, Order dated 12.05.2015 passed in I.A. No.  33
 of 2015 in Special Leave Petition (c)  No.  28609/2011  entitled  Union  of
India vs. Rafique Sheikh Bhikan and others and  Order  dated  23.07.2015  in
W.P.(civil) No. 344/2015 entitled Alban Hajj  Umrah  Service  vs.  Union  of
India.
10)   Let the applications be decided by the concerned authority by  passing
a reasoned order on each application on or before 29.06.2016 and  the  order
so passed be communicated to each  applicant(writ  petitioner)  immediately.

11)   The writ petitions are disposed of.



.……...................................J.
                                     [ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE]


                     ………..................................J.
                                      [ASHOK BHUSHAN]
      New Delhi,
      May 18, 2016.


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