ibusinesslines.com March 22, 2018

National anthem not mandatory in cinema halls, rules Supreme Court

09 January 2018, 11:03 | Melissa Porter

Govt changes stance on national anthem in cinemas, asks SC to modify order

Govt's U-Turn on National Anthem in Theatres

The Supreme Court's earlier order on November 30, 2016, making the playing of the national anthem compulsory in theatres before movie screenings was met with criticism as the public felt it was "forced criticism". "This is why the government has chose to constitute an inter-ministerial committee", the affidavit said.

The SC had in November 2016 made it mandatory for cinema halls to play the anthem.

Refresh for more updates. This comes a day after the Centre informed the top court that it was in favour of modification of the November 2016 order, a complete turnabout from its previous stand on the issue. He had said a debate must also start on why mandatory singing of the national anthem be not included in school curriculum.

It would also have representatives of Ministries of Information and Broadcasting and Minority Affairs, Department of Legal Affairs, Department of School Education and Literacy and the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability, the affidavit filed by the Centre had said.

The Centre had said that the final action will be based on the recommendations of the committee.

Then, the court agreed to let the practice of playing National Anthem in cinema halls continue until the Centre came up with new recommendations, if at all. However, citizens are bound to show respect to the Anthem in case the cinema hall chooses to play it.

The interim order was later modified to the effect that viewers need not stand if the National Anthem is being played "as part of the storyline of a feature film, newsreel or documentary". "You can amend it and say where to play national anthem and where it can't be done", the judge said. "Where would this moral policing stop?", the court had said.

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