National Anthem Not A Must In Cinema Halls:Supreme Court

National Anthem Not A Must In Cinema Halls:Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has accepted the central government’s suggestion that playing the national anthem in cinema halls should not be made compulsory. The court modified its 2016 order a day after the government said a final call can be taken once a ministerial panel makes guidelines. Discretion on the national anthem issue lies with the centre, the court said, adding that if cinema halls play the national anthem, the audience must stand up. The differently-abled though are exempt from complying with the order.

As per the court’s initial order in November 2016, all present in theatres must “stand up in respect” till the anthem played. That would “instill a feeling within one, a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism,” the bench, led by Justice Dipak Misra, who later became the Chief Justice of India, had ordered.

After an appeal, another bench of the court — which also included Chief Justice Misra — modified it in October last year. “People do not need to stand up at a cinema hall to be perceived as patriotic,” the court said. Justice DY Chandrachud, who was part of the bench, had asked what was stopping the central government from amending the Flag Code.

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