Haj pilgrimage subsidized but Kumbh pilgrimage taxed: Thanks to UPA

published on January 29, 2010

Court questions rail surcharge on Kumbh pilgrims

IANS

Lucknow, Jan 28 : Citing the subsidy given to Haj pilgrims, a recently floated Hindu Personal Law Board has moved the Allahabad High Court seeking its intervention in getting free rail passes for poor pilgrims and a 50 percent concession to all others going to attend the Maha Kumbh Mela that is on in Haridwar now.

“The present policy of the government is discriminatory and in violation of the provisions of the Indian Constitution which disallows any discrimination on religious lines,” the board’s counsel Ashok Pandey said.

A division bench of the court here directed the railway administration to submit the circular whereby the surcharge was being levied by the Indian Railways on pilgrims travelling to Haridwar for the Maha Kumbh Mela.

According to the pubic interest litigation (PIL) moved Wednesday: “The railway administration are charging a surcharge ranging from Rs.3 to Rs.15 per ticket from every rail traveller going to Haridwar during the Kumbh Mela period.”

Board secretary V.L. Misra told reporters here Thursday: “Since the local railway administration refused to provide us a copy of the circular, we urged the honourable court to direct them to submit a copy directly to the court.”

The Court has fixed Feb 3 for the next hearing.

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