SC upholds HC verdict on airline for Hajj pilgrims

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court today upheld a 2014 verdict of the High Court, allowing Bangladeshis to choose any airline for going to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj.

A four-member Appellate Division panel headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha passed the order, dismissing an appeal filed by the state against that initial order.

Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism in 2013 took a decision, selecting only Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudi Airlines to carry Bangladeshi pilgrims for Hajj.

Challenging the decision, Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) secretary general Sheikh Abdullah, vice-president Abdul Kabir Khan and a Hajj pilgrim named Rezaul Islam filed a writ with the High Court.

The High Court on July 29, 2013, issued a rule asking the ministry to explain as to why the court shall not declare that decision illegal. The court also issued an interim order allowing the Hajj pilgrims to choose any airline to go to Saudi Arabia.

Holding a final hearing on the rule, the High Court on February 20, 2014, passed the order on the airline.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)