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SC refuses to debate plea to declare 'Vande Mataram' as national song
Fri, 17 Feb 2017

New Delhi, Feb 17
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to enter into a debate on the plea seeking declaration that "Vande Mataram" is the national song.

"...We do not intend to enter into any debate as far as the national song is concerned," said the bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagouder, declining the plea by a lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay.

Upadhyay, who is also the spokesman of the Delhi unit of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has urged the court to direct the framing of a "national policy to promote and propagate the national anthem, national song and national flag in the spirit of Article 51A to achieve the great golden goals, as set out in Preamble of the Constitution of India".

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."

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