SC modifies National Anthem order exempts differently abled
The court that posted the plea for detailed hearing on 14 February also clarified that doors of theatres need not be bolted when the National Anthem is played.
The Supreme Court of India on 9 December 2016 modified its order on the National Anthem and exempted physically handicapped persons from standing before screening of a movie in cinema halls across the nation.
It also clarified that its direction to close the entry gates of cinema halls when the national anthem is played did not amount to bolting the door.
The previous order of 30 November 2016 was modified by a bench comprising of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Amitava Roy. The previous order was modified, while the bench was hearing a plea seeking a recall of its order mandating playing of the National Anthem before films.
Highlights of the Modification of the order
- A physically challenged/handicapped person need not stand up if he is incapable of standing, but he/she must show such conduct which is proportionate with respect for the national anthem.
- To define the term physically-handicapped persons, the court highlighted Sections 22(i) and 2(t) of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
The Acts Section 2(i) defines disability as low vision, blindness, hearing impairment, leprosy-cured, loco motor disability, mental illness and mental retardation. However, Section 2 (t) defines a ‘person with disability’ as somebody suffering from not less than 40 percent of any disability as certified by a medical authority.
Besides, the Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi informed the apex court that the Union Government will issue guidelines within ten days on how physically challenged persons should show respect to the National Anthem.
The court posted the application for recall of its November 30 order for detailed hearing on 14 February 2016.
Earlier on 30 November 2016, the apex court ordered that all cinema halls across the nation will have to play the National Anthem before screening of a movie. It said that everyone present at the moment will have to stand in respect of the Anthem. In its direction, it said that the practice would instil a feeling within one a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism.