Haj Chairman’s Tenure Cannot Be Extended Beyond Tenure Of Committee: Karnataka High Court

Case Title: Raufuddin Kacheriwalay & Others And State of Karnataka & others

Case No: WRIT PETITION NO.648 OF 2023

Date of Order: 11-08-2023



The Karnataka High Court has rejected a request made by the Chairman and Members of the State Haj Committee to prolong the duration of the Chairman’s term and the Committee’s term beyond three years from the election date. This decision was made because the appointment of the Chairman was announced at a later stage, following instructions from the High Court.


The petitioners from 2 to 10 are members of the State Haj Committee, appointed by the State Government on January 20, 2020, for a three-year term. The appointment of the Chairman was confirmed on July 7, 2021, following the High Court’s involvement in the case of Khusro Qureshi vs. State of Karnataka, which concluded on February 23, 2021.

An argument was presented that although the Chairman was elected on June 24, 2021, the official appointment through a notification was made on July 7, 2021. As a result, the first petitioner’s term as Chairman should extend until July 6, 2024. It was also asserted that under Section 21(4) of the Haj Committee Act, 2002, the Committee’s tenure can be extended for a maximum of two terms, and representations made on December 23, 2022, requesting an extension have not been considered. Therefore, the government should be compelled to extend the Committee’s tenure.

However, Advocate General Shashi Kiran Shetty opposed this plea by stating that both the Haj Committee’s tenure and the Chairman’s tenure are stipulated by the law, and such terms cannot be extended. The Chairman’s term aligns with their membership duration, as only a Committee member is elected by others. Arguing otherwise would contradict the democratic principles embedded in the Act’s provisions.



The court rejected the petitioners’ argument that the Chairman’s term at the K-SHC is three years, and since the first petitioner was elected Chairman on 7.7.2021, his term would extend until 6.7.2024.

The court explained that the K-SHC consists of sixteen members nominated by the State Government under section 18 of the Haj Committee Act, 2022. The nomination is confirmed in section 19, and the term of three years for the Chairman starts from the notification under section 19.

The court clarified that the first petitioner was elected Chairman by the Committee established under the 20.1.2020 notification. Since the Committee’s tenure is three years, the Chairman’s term aligns with the Committee’s duration.

While section 21(4) specifies a three-year term for the Chairman, this means their term can be either three years or the remaining time of the Committee’s term, whichever is shorter.

The court noted that section 21(1) requires the government to hold the first Committee meeting within 45 days for electing the Chairman from its members. Delays in this meeting don’t extend the Chairman’s tenure. The Chairman must be a Committee member, and this condition prevents a non-member from being elected.

In conclusion, the court dismissed the petition, stating that even if the Chairman is elected a year after the Committee’s formation, it doesn’t imply a term extension beyond the Committee’s tenure. This interpretation aligns with sections 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22 of the Act.

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Written by- Shreya Sharma

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