Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Playing national anthem in cinema halls not mandatory: SC

People singing national anthem in a cinema hall Breaking Legal News SC Playing national anthem before screening of movies is not compulsory By India Legal
Johnnie Parks | 09 January, 2018, 11:04

Now, playing the National Anthem before a movie starts in the theatre and asking people to stand for it, is not mandatory, ruled the Supreme Court.

The court was hearing a PIL by Shyam Narayan Chouksey, which was the basis for the November 2016 order, seeking mandatory playing of the national anthem in cinema halls before every screening and for everyone in the audience to show respect by standing up.

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The Centre will form an Inter-Ministerial Committee to look into the issue and take further decision on the matter based on the recommendations of the panel.

After an appeal to recall the order, a different bench of the court - which also included Chief Justice Misra - modified it last October. The centre has asked a time frame of around 6-months to frame the new guidelines. It had observed that it can not be assumed that if a person does not stand up for the national anthem, he is "less patriotic" and the people "cannot be forced to carry patriotism on their sleeves".

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The initial order, issued in November 2016, said all those present in theatres must "stand up in respect" till the anthem ended.

Then, the court agreed to let the practice of playing National Anthem in cinema halls continue until the Centre came up with new recommendations, if at all. The Supreme Court had said in 2016 that the order was aimed at instilling a sense of patriotism.

Justice DY Chandrachud said that "one need not wear patriotism on his sleeve" and people went to the movie hall for undiluted entertainment.

Movie goers stand up as the National Anthem is played at a movie hall before the screening of a movie in Jammu.

The SC accepted the suggestion of the Centre and said that playing the National Anthem would be henceforth optional.

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