Delhi High Court on Thursday sought the Centre’s response on a PIL seeking appropriate directions to treat the national song ‘Vande Mataram’ on a par with the national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued notice to the ministries of Home Affairs and Law and asked them to file “necessary response” before February 8, 2017 on the petition which seeks amendment in the National Honour Act 1971.
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The reply of the government was sought on Gautam R Morarka’s plea, who urged the bench that directions be given to the Centre in this regard so that proper dignity and respect could be maintained when ‘Vande Mataram’ is played or sung.
“Issue a writ of mandamus or any other direction to the respondents (MHA and Law Ministry) to issue appropriate order/direction with respect to the national song ‘Vande Mataram’ for ensuring that due courtesy is being observed when the national song is sung or played on the lines of national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’,” the plea said.
The petitioner, who claims to be an industrialist, said that in absence of rules (statutory or executive), unintentional disrespect is being committed by common people towards the national song ‘Vande Mataram’.
Morarka, who is a Delhi resident, said that even in 1950, the then President of India had said that ‘Vande Mataram’ shall be honoured equally with ‘Jana Gana Mana’ and shall have equal status with it.
“Respondents to consider moving an appropriate bill for amendment in the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, to incorporate provisions with respect to the song, to ensure the respect and dignity which it deserves,” the plea said.