The High Court on Sunday issued a rule asking the government to explain why the notification fixing high cost of hajj package this year should not be declared illegal and contradictory to the public interest.
The HC bench of Justice KM Kamrul Kader and Justice Khizir Hayat issued the rule.
The HC also issued another rule asking the government to explain as to why all international airliners should not be allowed to carry the hajj pilgrims.
In its observation, the HC said the government failed to negotiate with Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudi Airlines on behalf of the pilgrims over hajj fare which is a sheer negligence.
Compared with different countries of the world, it has been seen that the cost of hajj is high in Bangla-desh, it said.
The government of India and Pakistan provided Tk one lakh as subsidy to the pilgrims but the govern-ment is Bangladesh raised the hajj cost, it said.
Secretaries to the Religious Affairs Ministry, Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry, Director General of Islamic Foundation and Hajj Association of Bangladesh (Haab) and Saudi Ambassador have been made respondents to the rule.
Advocate Gazi Md Mohsin, Advocate Ashraf-uz-Zaman Khan, Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon, Advo-cate Ahsan Ullah stood for the petitioner while deputy attorney general Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar represented the state.
On March 12, a Supreme Court lawyer Ashraf-uz-Zaman filed a writ petition challenging the hajj pack-age cost at Tk 6,83,018 for each hajj pilgrims who intended to go to hajj this year.
On March 6, lawyer Ashraf sent a legal notice to the Religious Affairs Ministry to fix Tk 4 lakh as hajj package cost after amending it.
On February 1, the government fixed at Tk 6, 83,018 as hajj cost for each pilgrim.
Meanwhile, the government reduced the cost of hajj packages under both public and private manage-ments by Tk11,725 as Saudi Arabia has reduced a service charge for the intending pilgrims worldwide.
Pilgrims who will perform hajj under the government management have to pay Tk 6, 71,290 each to perform hajj this year after deduction of Tk 11,725.
Besides, those who will go under private management have to pay Tk 6, 60,893 each after deduction of the amount.