Posted on January 9, 2018 at 9:29 am

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Playing National Anthem In Cinema Halls Is Not Mandatory, Says Supreme Court

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On November 30, 2016, the Supreme Court had passed an order that all cinemas were to play the National Anthem before screening a film to respect our motherland.

National Anthem being played in Cinema Halls
National Anthem being played in Cinema Halls

Today, the Supreme Court modified its 2016 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.

Patrons, however, have to mandatorily show respect in case the cinema plays the anthem.

Just to brush up what transpired on November 30, 2016, here’s what happened:

A Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra (prior to him becoming the Chief Justice of India), directed that ‘all cinema halls in India shall play the National Anthem before a feature film starts and all present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the National Anthem’.

The Bench had observed that said the protocol of showing respect and honor to the anthem was rooted in our national identity, integrity, and constitutional patriotism.

On Monday, the Centre had asked the Supreme Court to take back the order, saying an inter-ministerial committee had been formed for framing guidelines. These guidelines will be on “all aspects relating to the playing and singing of the National Anthem”.

The guidelines will require extensive consultations and may require six months’ time, said the government. Once the recommendations are ready, the government will issue the requisite notification or circular.

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