Supreme Court revises earlier order: National Anthem not mandatory in cinema halls anymore

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 02:19
Supreme Court revises earlier order: National Anthem not mandatory in cinema halls anymore
The Supreme Court on Tuesday modified its November 2016 order stating that it is now not mandatory to play the National Anthem before a film is screened in movie halls across the country.

Today’s order comes after the government on Monday filed an affidavit asking the Supreme Court to reconsider its order making it mandatory for cinema halls to play the national anthem before screening of films and that it was setting up a inter ministerial committee to look at any modifications in the existing rules, Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, if necessary.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said playing of the anthem shall be only "directory", but "not mandatory". The court maintained that since the central government has set up a committee, this panel should look at all issues relating to the anthem holistically, including the aspect of changing the pertinent law, and then make suitable recommendations to the government.

The bench further noted that all individuals are bound by the 2012 order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, wherein a set of guidelines were laid down on singing and playing of the national anthem.

Culling out the relevant part of the 2012 order, the court said that there are three things that these guidelines highlight — one, the national anthem is a salutation to the motherhood; second that there cannot be an exhaustive list of occasions; and third, decorum must be maintained.

Therefore, the bench said, till the time the government takes a final call based on the committee`s recommendations, the 2012 order should occupy the field.
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