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Approach the Government first, court tells petitioner

By Our Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI, SEPT. 20. The Supreme Court today rejected a petition for a direction to the Union Government to delete the word "Sind", now part of Pakistan, from the national anthem and replace it with "Kashmir."

Dismissed

A three-judge Bench, comprising the Chief Justice R.C. Lahoti, Justice G.P. Mathur and Justice P.P. Naolekar, dismissed the public interest litigation petition filed by a scientist.

The judges said that the debates in the Constituent Assembly of January 24, 1950 itself stated that the "national anthem was subject to such alterations in the words as the Government may authorise as occasion arises."

The Bench, therefore, allowed the petitioner to draw the Government's attention to this and then approach the court if no action was taken.

The petitioner, Sanjeev Bhatnagar, who is also an advocate, argued that the recitation of Sind in the national anthem was an infringement over the sovereignty of Pakistan.

Such singing for the last 54 years and eight months was also hurting the feelings of over 100 crore people in India, he said.

He said the petition was being filed to avoid any future international dispute as such flaws in the national anthem could bring dishonour and disrespect to the nation.

He sought a direction for the deletion of the word `Sind' from the national anthem and substitute it with "Kashmir."

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