The Supreme Court (SC) on 30 November 2016 ordered all cinema halls across India to play the National Anthem before the screening of films.
The apex court also directed that all present must "stand up in respect" till the anthem ends before the screening. The court also stated that the practice would "instill a feeling within one a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism."
The direction was given by a Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy.
Key highlights of the order
• The top court also directed the cinema halls to display the National Flag on screen when the anthem is played.
• The Bench stated that it is the duty of every person to show respect when the national anthem is played or recited or sung under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act of 1951.
• The Union Government, represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, agreed with the guidelines to show respect and honour for the national anthem and the flag.
• The court also issued a complete ban on the commercial exploitation of the national anthem and the flag.
• It banned dramatisation of the anthem or it to be used in any part of any variety shows or for entertainment purposes.
• It also banned the display, recitation or use of the abridged version of the National Anthem.
The Supreme Court was hearing a plea to clarify when the national anthem should be sung. The PIL was filed by Shyam Narayan Chouskey seeking a set of parameters on what amounts to abuse of the anthem.
It is interesting to note that, Justice Dipak Misra, who ruled on how and when the national anthem should be played in cinemas, had passed a detailed order on the imperatives of showing respect to the national anthem 13 years ago. During that time, he was a judge in the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
Who: Supreme Court
When: 30 November 2016