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HAJ COMMITTEE ACT, 1959 [REPEALED]

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 51 of 1959


  • Act nº 51 of 1959

Preamble

THE HAJ COMMITTEE ACT, 1959

[Act, No. 51 of 1959]

[17th December, 1959]

PREAMBLE

An Act to establish a Committee in the Port of Bombay for assisting Muslim pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Jordan and for matters connected therewith.

BE it enacted by parliament in the Tenth Year of the Republic of India as follows:---

Section 1. Short title

This Act may be called the Haj Committee Act, 1959.

Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,---

(a) "Committee" means the Haj Committee constituted under this Act;

(b) "pilgrim" means a Muslim proceeding on or returning from pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran or Jordan;

(c) "pilgrim ship" means a ship conveying or about to convey pilgrims from or to the port of Bombay to or from any port in the Read Sea other than Suez;

(d) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act.

Section 3. Incorporation of Haj Committee

(1) With effect from such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint in this behalf, there shall be established a Committee by the name of the Haj Committee.

(2) The said Committee shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal and shall by the said name sue and be sued.

Section 4. Composition of the Committee

(1) The Committee shall consist of the following members, namely:---

(a) the Collector of Customs, Bombay, ex officio;

(b) the Chairman, Port, trust, Bombay, ex officio;

(c) the Principal Officer, Mercantile Marine Department, Bombay, ex officio;

(d) the Commissioner of Police for Greater Bombay, ex officio;

(e) the Municipal Commissioner, Greater Bombay, ex officio;

(f) the Port Health Officer, Bombay, ex officio;

(g) two members to be nominated by the Central Government;

(h) three members of Parliament of whom two are to be nominated by the Speaker of the House of the People from among its members and one by the Chairman of the Council of States from among its members;

(i) one member to represent the State Government of1[Maharastra] to be nominated by that Government;

(j) two members of the1[Maharastra] State Legislative Assembly to be nominated by the Speaker of that Assembly;

(k) two members of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay to be nominated by the2[State Government of Maharastra] on the recommendation of the Muslim members of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay;

(l) three members, of whom two shall be Shia Muslims, to be co-opted by all the members of the Committee to represent such interests as, in their opinion, are directly and actively interested in the welfare of the pilgrims.

(2) Every nomination under this section shall take effect as soon as it is notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette.

1. Substituted for "Bombay" by the Bombay Reorganisation Order 1961, w.r.e.f. 01-05-1960.

2. Substituted for "State Government of Bombay" by the Bombay Reorganisation Order 1961, w.r.e.f. 01-05-1960.


Section 5. Nomination and co-option of members

(1) The members of the Committee shall be nominated or co-opted in such manner as may be prescribed.

(2) As soon as may be after the nomination of the members of the Committee and the co-option of the members referred to in clause (1) of sub-section (1) of section 4, the Central Government shall publish in the Official Gazette a list of the names of all members nominated and co-opted:

Provided that the failure to co-opt a member shall not prevent the Central Government from making nominations or from publishing the list of members as provided in this sub-section:

Provided further that the list of members of a new Committee shall not be published before the expiry of three years from the date of the publication of the list of members of the Committee which it is replacing.

Section 6. Chairman and Vice-Chairman

(1) After the publication of the list of members of the Committee under sub-section (2) of section 5, the Central Government shall direct the Committee to elect one of its members to be the Chairman within such time as may be specified in the direction.

(2) If within the time so specified the Committee fails to elect a Chairman, the Central Government may appoint a member of the Committee to be the Chairman thereof.

(3) The chairman shall exercise such powers and discharge such duties as may be prescribed.

(4) The Committee shall elect from among its members not more than two members to be Vice-Chairman who shall exercise such powers and discharge such duties as may be determined by bye-laws made in this behalf by the Committee.

(5) The appointment or election of the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman shall be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette.

Section 7. Term of office

The term of office of the members of the Committee (other than the ex officio members and members filling casual vacancies) shall be not less than three years, commencing on the day following the publication of the list of members under sub-section (2) of section 5, and ending on the date of the publication of the list of members of the next Committee.

Section 8. Constitution of new Committees

(1) At such time as the Central Government may deem to be expedient before or after the expiry of the period of three years after the publication of the list of members of a Committee under sub-section (2) of section 5, the Central Government shall take or cause to be taken all necessary steps for the nomination and co-option of members of the new Committee.

(2) No person shall be ineligible for nomination or co-option to the new Committee on the ground that he is or has been a member of the Committee.

Section 9. Duties of Committee

(1) The duties of the Committee shall be---

(a) to collect and disseminate information useful to pilgrims;

(b) to advise and assist pilgrims during their stay in the city and the port of Bombay, while proceeding on or returning from pilgrimage, in all matters including vaccination, inoculation, medical inspection and issue of passes and passports, and to co-operate with the local authorities concerned in such matters;

(c) to give relief to indigent pilgrims;

(d) to negotiate and co-operate with railways, shipping companies, airways and travel agencies for the purposes of securing travelling facilities for pilgrims;

(e) to find suitable guides for employment by shipping companies on pilgrim ships;

(f) to bring the grievances of pilgrims and any irregularities or omissions on the part of a master or owner of a pilgrim ship in carrying out the provisions of the Indian Merchant Shipping Act, 1923 (21 of 1923.), to the notice of the authorities concerned, and to suggest remedies:

(g) to appoint a pilgrim as "Amirul-Haj" on board a pilgrim ship to represent the grievances of the pilgrims to the master or owner of the ship;

(h) generally to look after the welfare of the pilgrims; and

(i) to discharge such other duties in connection with pilgrim traffic as may be prescribed.

(2) The Central Government shall afford all reasonable assistance to the Committee in the discharge of the duties imported by this section.

Section 10. Meetings of Committee

(1) The Committee shall meet at least once in every month during the four months before the Haj Day and during the two months after the Haj Day, and at least once in three months during the rest of the year.

(2) The number of members required to make a quorum at any meeting shall be six.

(3) All matters shall be decided by a majority of votes of the members present, and in the event of an equality of votes the Chairman or other person presiding shall have a casting vote.

Section 11. Vacancies, etc., not to invalidate acts or proceedings of the Committee

No act or proceeding of the Committee shall be invalid by reason only of the existence of any vacancy among its members or any defect in the constitution thereof.

Section 12. Executive officer and other employees

(1) The Central Government shall, in consultation with the Committee, appoint a person to be the Executive Officer thereof who shall also be the Secretary to the Committee.

(2) The Committee shall, subject to the approval of the Central Government, appoint such other employees as it may consider necessary for the efficient discharge of its duties under this Act.

Section 13. Sub-committees and inspection of pilgrim ships

(1) The Committee shall appoint one or more sub-committees consisting of such number of its members as it thinks fit for the inspection of pilgrim ships.

(2) Any such sub-committee when inspecting a pilgrim ship shall be accompanied by the certifying officer appointed for the port under section 151 of the Indian Merchant Shipping Act, 1923 ( 21 of 1953 ), or by the Surveyor of the ship or other person deputed by the certifying officer.

(3) The Executive Officer of the Committee, or a sub-committee appointed under sub-section (1) may enter and inspect any pilgrim ship advertised or offering to sail from, or which has returned to, the port of Bombay.

(4) A master or any officer of a pilgrim ship who fails to render reasonable facilities for such inspection shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.

(5) No magistrate other than a presidency magistrate or magistrate of the first class shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under sub-section (4), and such magistrate shall take cognizance of such offence only on written complaint by the Chairman of the Committee.

(6) The Committee may also appoint other sub-committees for such purposes as it may think fit and any such sub-committee shall consist of such number of members and other persons as may be determined by bye-laws made in this behalf by the Committee.

Section 14. Haj Funds

The Committee shall have its own Fund to be called the Haj Fund, and there shall be placed to the credit thereof the following sums, namely:---

(a) the interest on all deposits made by pilgrims under clause (b) of section 208A of the Indian Merchant Shipping Act, 1923 (21 of 1923.);

(b) the fees charged for the registration of pilgrim passes in pursuance of any rule made under section 213 of the Indian Merchant Shipping Act, 1923 (21 of 1923.);

(c) the sums realised from the sale of the effects of deceased pilgrims and sums of money left by deceased pilgrims, which are unclaimed and have lapsed to the Government;

(d) any fees which may be levied for the issue of visitors' passes to friends and relations of pilgrims who desire to go on board a pilgrim ship;

(e) the amount standing at the commencement of this Act to the credit of the Fund known as the Indigent Pilgrims Fund:

Provided that such amount shall be applied by the Committee solely for the relief of indigent pilgrims;

(f) any sums received by the Haj Fund from private sources; and

(g) any sums allotted by the Central Government or any State Government to the Haj Fund.