Vande Mataram plea not considered

Vande Mataram plea not considered

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to consider a plea to issue directions on playing ‘Vande Mataram’, saying laws did not recognise the concept of a national song.

“There is no concept of a national song,” a three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said, referring to a PIL seeking guidelines on the court’s directions on playing the national anthem.

The apex court also cited the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act and constitutional provisions relating to fundamental duties as it refused to take up the plea regarding the national song.

“Article 51A only mentions the national flag and the national anthem. The article does not refer to a national song. Therefore, we do not intend to enter into any debate as far as a national song is concerned,” the bench, also comprising Justices R Banumathi and Mohan M Shantanagoudar, said.

It also refused to entertain, for the time being, a request by senior advocate Vikas Singh on behalf of petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay to make the rendering of the national anthem compulsory in offices, courts, Legislative Houses and Parliament. But it agreed to examine other prayers in the petition, including making the national anthem compulsory in schools.

“Barring singing of the national anthem in schools on every working day, other prayers stand rejected,” the bench said, issuing a notice to the Union government.

It decided to hear Upadhyay’s petition with another PIL in which a slew of directions have been passed regarding the national anthem.

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