Central Haj Committee
Constitution of the Haj Committee
- The constitution is incorporated under Section 3 of the Act.
- Committee is a corporate body having the power acquire, hold and dispose any movable or immovable property or creating a charitable trust and to sue and be sued.
- The headquarters are situated in Mumbai.
Composition of the Committee
- The required composition of the Committee is laid down under Section 4 of the Act.
- Three members are to be nominated from the Muslim members of the Parliament and Council of States.
- The two members from the Parliament are to be nominated by the Speaker of the House of People and the one member from Council of States by the Chairman.
- The member will cease to be a member once he retires from the Parliament or the Council of States.
- 3 out of the 9 members are to be elected from the States sending largest pilgrims during previous three years and one each from zones specified in the Schedule as prescribed.
- 4 members nominated above the rank of Joint Secretary to represent Ministries of External Affairs, Home, Finance and Civil Aviation as ex-officio members.
- 7 members nominated by Central Government; 2 women; 2 people who have special knowledge of public administration, finance, education, culture or social work; 3 members who have special knowledge of Muslim theology and law and one member should be Shia Muslim in each category.
- Under Section 5 names of the members should be published in official gazette as soon as nominations are done.
Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson
- The appointment of Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson is prescribed in Section 7 of the Act.
- The first meeting of the committee, which must be held within 45 days of the notification, is when the Chairperson and the Vice-chairperson are elected.
- The Ministers or the ex-officio members are not to be elected for the positions.
- If the Committee fails to elect, the Central Government appoints a member as the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson.
- The Chairperson exercise powers and duties as prescribed whereas the Vice-Chairperson exercises the powers and duties as prescribed by the bye-laws made by the Committee and prior to making such bye-laws, as prescribed by the Chairperson.
- The election is to be notified in the Official Gazette and any vacancy is to be filled as prescribed in the sub-sections.
Term of the Office
- Section 6 of the Act lays down that a member of the Committee, other than ex-officio members and members filling vacancy, will hold the office for 3 years from the day of notification.
- The term can be extended to a maximum of 1 year (6months at once) by an Official Gazette.
- The term for the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson is co-terminus with the Committee and a person cannot hold office for more than 2 terms.
Reconstitution of the Committee
- The steps for reconstitution of the Committee should be initiated at least 4 months before expiry of the term as specified under Section 8.
- Renomination of a member can be done for not more than 2 years but only 50 percent of the members can be renominated for a second term.
Duties of the Committee
• The duties of the Committee have been iterated in Section 9 of the Act.
- Collecting and providing information to the pilgrims and training them.
- Advising and assisting the pilgrim in all matters as well as liaising with the local authorities concerned.
- Giving relief to pilgrims.
- Approving the budget estimates and submission to the government before 3 months of starting of financial year.
- Finalising the plan for approval of arrangements including accommodation facilities and travelling arrangements.
- Looking after the welfare of the pilgrims.
- Publishing the proceedings of the Committee as prescribed by the bye-laws.
- Discharging duties as prescribed by the Central government.
• The Central government is to provide all assistance required in fulfilling the duties of the Committee.
Meetings of the Committee
- Section 10 of the Act prescribes the details regarding meetings of the Committee.
- The Committee meets 3 times a year to finalize the plan and once for review.
- The meetings can be held when one0third of the embers deem necessary or when the Chairperson deems fit.
One-third is the quorum of the meeting and matters are to be decided by majority vote and by the vote of the Chairperson in case of equal votes.
The procedures as prescribed by the bye-laws are to be followed.
Appointment of Standing Committees and sub-committees
- Two standing Committees are to be appointed with the Vice-Chairperson as the head with the members as prescribed by the bye-laws for matters related to finance. The Chairperson presides the meeting when present.
- Sub-Committees as determined by the bye-laws can be appointed.
- Section 11 of the Act deals with this provision.
Disqualification to become a member of Committee
• Section 12 of the Act deals with disqualification of members.
- A person is disqualified if he is,
- Not a citizen of India.
- Not a Muslim, other than ex-officio members.
- Less than 25 years.
- Of unsound mind.
- Undischarged insolvent.
- Convicted of an offence of moral turpitude.
- Removed from his office as member or by a competent authority.
Resignation of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and members
- The resignation can be signed and addressed to the Central Government under Section 13.
Removal of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and members
• Under Section 14 the Central government may remove any member of the Committee,
- Subject to disqualification under Section 12.
- Refuses to act for the Committee or acts in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the pilgrimage.
- Fails to attend three consecutive meetings.
• Removal from the post of Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson leads to removal from being a member.
Filling of a casual vacancy
- Vacancy upon removal, resignation or death of a member requires to be fulfilled by nomination or election as required and the office would be held till the time the original member would have held.
- This provision also applies for filling of casual vacancy under Section 15.
Chief Executive Officer and other employees
- Under Section 16, a person above the rank of Deputy Secretary to the Government from the Muslim Officers panel shall be appointed as the Chief Executive Officer.
- He shall be the ex-officio Secretary of the Committee and be appointed for 3 years and may extend up to 1 year.
- He should work according to the functions prescribed and in case of difference in opinion of the CEO and the Committee it should be brought to the notice of the Central government.
- Any other employees can be appointed with sanction from the government with conditions as prescribed by law.