New Delhi, Feb 18, 2017: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a debate on the plea seeking declaration that “Vande Mataram” is the national song.
Declining the plea by a lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, the bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagouder said that “…We do not intend to enter into any debate as far as the national song is concerned.”
“Be it clearly noted, Article 51A(a) of the Constitution (fundamental duties) does not refer to ‘National Song’. It only refers to National Flag and National Anthem,” the Bench clarified.
Petitioner Upadhyay, who is also the spokesman of the Delhi unit of the ruling BJP, wanted a judicial order making reciting the National Anthem and National Song in Parliament/Assembly, public offices, courts and schools on every working day compulsory.
However, the court tagged the plea, urging it to ascertain the feasibility of singing/ playing of the national anthem and the national song in the school on every working day, with an earlier pending matter as it recalled that Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi too had urged the court to make singing of the national anthem mandatory in schools.
Tagging the plea with the early pending matter, the bench in its order said: “In the earlier writ petition, a contention was advanced by the … Attorney General of India pertaining to schools and, therefore, as far as the prayer relating to ‘schools on every working day’ is concerned, it is kept alive.”
However, the bench rejected the plea that had urged the court to “ascertain the feasibility of singing/ playing the national anthem and national song in Parliament/ assembly, public offices, courts … on every working day.”
While dismissing the plea for singing/ playing of the national anthem and national song in Parliament, state assemblies, public offices and courts, the bench said: “We may hasten to clarify when we have kept the prayer alive (singing/playing of the national anthem and national song in the schools) that does not mean that we have expressed any opinion on the same.”