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SC asks govt to take call on national anthem in cinema halls

24 October 2017

The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to consider amending the national flag code for regulating the playing of national anthem in cinema halls across the country.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra refused to modify its November order under which it had issued a slew of directions on when and how the national anthem must be played. Later, in December 2016, the court modified its order to say that handicapped persons need not stand up.

On November 30 2016, the apex court has laterly clarifies that movie watchers would not be obliged to stand for the anthem if it is part of the film that is being screened. plently of incident have been reports that people have been harassed at movie halls for not standing during the Anthem. They go watch movies for undiluted entertainment and the society needs to be entertained, Justice Chandrachud also observed.

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"Should we wear our patriotism on our sleeves?".

Ironically, it was the Supreme Court that had ordered past year that the national anthem should be played across all cinema halls and that people should stand up and show respect. Can you say this is disrespect to the national anthem?

The apex court had previous year ordered the theatres across the country to mandatorily play the national anthem before a movie and the audience must stand and show respect, in a bid to "instil committed patriotism and nationalism". The court said that it was fundamental duty of every citizen to respect National Anthem and National Flag and it was desirable that anthem was played in public events but judiciary should not step in to make it mandatory in cinema halls. "When people came out from theatres, they would have a feeling of belonging to the nation", he said.

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The Centre should pass an order without being influenced by the earlier interim order that would remain in force till the Centre takes a final decision, the court said. "This could be brought about by playing the national anthem and people will believe that we are all Indians", he said. Where do we draw a line? Venugopal submitted that playing the National Anthem in cinema halls and standing up as a mark of respect for it fosters a sense of unity in a country diverse in caste, religion and regions.

Venugopal said, "the court has ample power under Article 142 of the Constitution to issue directions". Why don't you (Centre) bring regulations if you want people to mandatorily stand up during the national anthem?

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SC asks govt to take call on national anthem in cinema halls