National Anthem to be optional during movie-screening says SC

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 09, 2018 15:55 hrs

New Delhi: A Supreme Court bench on Tuesday modified its own ruling, saying that it was no more mandatory to play the National Anthem during a movie screening.

The ruling on Tuesday, comes after a government affidavit which sought the apex court to consider its 2016 ruling, including a modification to be made to the existing rules of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act.

The current order trails an November-16 ruling that made the playing of the national anthem compulsory in cinema halls before movies are screened.

The order was passed by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud during the hearing of a petition seeking provision of punishment on disobeying the National Anthem.

On Monday, the Centre asked the top court to review its 2016 order that made it mandatory to play the National Anthem in cinema halls. The Central government shared with the court that it had set up an inter-ministerial committee to frame guidelines to decide the circumstances when the national anthem should be played or sung with decorum and suggested in the petition that the 2016' order could be reviewed.

The 2016 order had said that all viewers in the cinema halls should stand up when the national anthem was played.

Of the submissions from stakeholders including the petitioner, respondent and the Central Government, the apex court took forth the suggestion of a top law officer representing the Centre, KK Venugopal, and said the screening of the National Anthem in cinema halls would, henceforth, be optional.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal urged the court to modify its 2016 order substituting "shall" with "may" for the playing of the national anthem in cinema halls.

Twitter remained fixed between those who were happy and the others, who questioned the revision.

Here is a funny one:

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