The High Court has overturned a lower court’s ruling on the Hajj quota controversy, in which the Civil Court ordered the Islamic Ministry to reevaluate several unsuccessful bids presented by local Hajj groups offering pilgrimages this year.
The Maldives’ quota of 874 pilgrims was divided among eight companies selected by the Islamic Ministry, while the tenders of Al-manasik Private Limited, Al-fathuh Hajj And Umra Group, Al-Safa Private Limited, Classic Hajj and Umra Private Limited were dismissed.
The Islamic Ministry previously told local media that the proposals were rejected because they had not followed the procedures, but were at first accepted by mistake and later dismissed when the ministry realised the proposals were not compliant.
The High Court ruling issued yesterday stated that if people were allowed to do things in violation of procedures, this would make way for corruption.
High Court Judges Abdul Gany Mohamed, Abdulla Hameed and Shuaib Hussain Zakariyya presided over the case and the bench was chaired by Judge Abdul Gany Mohamed.
The ruling of Abdul Gany dissented from the ruling of the other two judges, which formed the majority opinion.
On April 16, the Civil Court ordered the Islamic Ministry reevaluate the proposals of four groups it previously rejected from arranging Hajj pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia this year for Maldivians.
The lawsuit was first filed at the Civil Court by Almanasik Hajj Group, AlFath Hajj And Umra Group, Alsafa Hajj Group, Classic Hajj and Umrah Group.
Performing the annual Hajj pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime is one of the five pillars of Islam.