Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

No more national anthem in cinema halls. SC recalls its 2016 order

No more national anthem in cinema halls. SC recalls its 2016 order

To stand or not to stand: The debate around the National Anthem playing in theatres continues.

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

The Centre sought a recall of a Supreme Court order that had made it compulsory for cinema halls to play the National Anthem before a film's screening. "It is submitted that the government has made a decision to constitute an inter-ministerial committee headed by additional secretary, MHA with representatives from ministries of defence, external affairs, culture, women and child development, parliamentary affairs, information and broadcasting, minority affairs, legal affairs, HRD", Centre said in its affidavit.

The Supreme court accepted Government's affidavit that says 12-member committee set up to suggest changes in Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act.

The affidavit, submitted by the Ministry of Home Affairs, apprised the Court of setting up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to frame new guidelines on playing of the National Anthem after considering "wide ranging issues".

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The court will hear the matter again on Tuesday.

The government said the top court may "consider the restoration of status quo ante until then i.e restoration of the position as it stood before the order passed by this court on November 30, 2016" as it mandates the playing of the National Anthem in all cinemas before the feature film starts.

Later, however, while hearing a petition by a film society challenging the November 2016 order, a three-judge bench had questioned the order.

It also asked the Centre to take a call about regulating the playing of National Anthem in public places and also bring out necessary rules for the same.

The court's order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) by Shayam Narayan Chouksey seeking framing of guidelines on the playing of the national anthem. "Nowadays, the anthem is played during matches, tournaments and even Olympics where half of the crowd does not understand its meaning", said Justice DY Chandrachud.

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