Supreme Court Says Playing of National Anthem In Cinema Halls is Not Mandatory

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Film News: The Supreme Court on Tuesday modified its order that made it mandatory to play the national anthem in cinema halls, saying the playing of the anthem must be left to the discretion of cinema owners. However, patrons have to mandatorily show respect in case the cinema plays the anthem. A person who stands up shows proper respect, it said.

On November 30, 2016, a Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra, before he became the Chief Justice of India, directed that “all cinema halls in India shall play the National Anthem before the feature film starts and all present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the National Anthem.”

The court had justified that the playing of the anthem in cinema halls is to be conceived as an opportunity for the public to express their “love for the motherland.” The Bench had observed that said the protocol of showing respect and honour to the anthem was rooted in “our national identity, national integrity and constitutional patriotism.”

The Centre had, on Monday, asked the Supreme Court to take back the order, saying an inter-ministerial committee had been formed for framing guidelines on “all aspects relating to the playing and singing of the National Anthem”. The guidelines would require extensive consultations and would require six months’ time, the government said. Once the recommendations are ready, the government would issue the requisite notification or circular.

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