Delhi High Court today sought the response of the Central Government to the PIL filed by BJP leader Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking that "Vande Mataram" be honoured equally with the National Anthem.

The Bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta expresses its displeasure to Ashwini Upadhyay for publicising the filing of the petition before the Court. The Court remarked, "At the outset, this seems to be an exercise in publicity, you have no business to go to the press."

Upadhyay submitted to the Court that there are no guidelines regarding the use of Vande Mataram and hence is being misused in parties, serials and movies. He also submitted that our freedom struggle was based on Vande Mataram and Vande Mataram was also imprinted on the first flag of the country.

The Bench issued notice to the Respondents and asked for the counter to be filed.

The PIL filed by the Petitioner in person says that, "the song 'Vande Mataram', which had played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honoured equally with 'Jana-Gana-Mana' and shall have equal status with it in spirit of the Statement made by the Constituent Assembly Chairman Hon'ble Dr. Rajendra Prasad with regard to the National Anthem, on 24.01.1950".

The Petition says that 'Vandemataram' is the symbol of our history, sovereignty, unity and pride. "If any citizen by any overt or covert act shows disrespect to it, it would not only be an anti-social activity but it would also spell doom to all our rights and very existence as a citizen of a sovereign nation", the Petition says, adding that it is the duty of the executive to frame a national policy to promote and propagate 'Vandemataram'.

The Petition says that the sentiments expressed in 'Jana Gana Mana' have been expressed keeping the State in view. "However, sentiments expressed in 'Vande Mataram' denote the nation's character and style and deserve similar respect. Sometimes Vande mataram is sung in such circumstances which are not permissible and can never be countenanced in law. It is the duty of every Indian to show respect when Vandemataram is played/sung", the PIL says.

The Petitioner contends that the framers of the Constitution wanted equal status to Jana Gana Mana and Vandemataram "but due to appeasement politics their wish is still a dream".