Supreme Court takes up plea over national anthem, song in schools

New Delhi, April 18:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from the central government on a PIL seeking to ascertain the feasibility of singing the national anthem and the national song in schools and public offices.

The notice has also been issued to the Law Commission of India.

Petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay, who is also spokesman of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi unit, has urged the government to ascertain the feasibility of singing/playing of the national anthem and the national song in Parliament/assembly, public offices and courts on every working day.

The BJP leader has sought framing of a national policy to promote and propagate the national anthem, the national song and the national flag in the spirit of the Constitution’s Article 51A, which spells out ‘Fundamental Duties’.

Its first clause says that “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India” (a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem”.

Even as a bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar sought the government’s response, it modified its earlier November 30, 2016, order to exempt a certain category of physically disabled people from standing up when the national anthem is played in cinema halls as per its directions.

The court had then ordered that the National Anthem would be played in cinema halls across the country before the start of a movie.

This, it said, would instil a feeling of “constitutional patriotism” and a sense of “committed patriotism and nationalism”. It also had said that when the national anthem is sung or played, it is imperative on the part of everyone present to show due respect and honour to it by standing up. (IANS)

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