ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court today dismissed a PIL seeking directions to Meerut Mayor Sunita Verma to give due respect when 'Vande Mataram' was being played or sung in the municipal House.
The PIL had also sought that people of Meerut be sensitised about their fundamental duties to respect the national song and that it should be publicised.
The bench comprising Chief Justice D B Bhosale and Justice Suneet Kumar dismissed the petition filed by Ramakant Sharma, a resident of Meerut.
In the petition it was alleged that many councillors, as well as the mayor, did not give due respect to the song when it was being sung in the Meerut Municipal Corporation House.
The petitioner relied on newspaper reports and a photo published in a newspaper where the mayor was allegedly seen sitting at the time of singing of 'Vande Mataram'.
Sharma's counsel argued that in the municipal House some councillors were not willing to sing 'Vande Mataram' while others were advocating that all should sing it.
Hence, to avoid any unpleasant situation, it was necessary that all should be sensitised about role of the national song in the freedom struggle, the counsel said.
A message must be also given to all that it had nothing to do with religious belief, though at the same time, it should be made clear that no one can be forced to sing it, the counsel said.
The bench on this said that it can neither direct elected members and councillors to behave in a certain manner nor it can pass a general direction to sensitise residents of Meerut about their fundamental duties as per the Constitution and dismissed the petition as withdrawn.