National Anthem row: The central government has urged the Supreme Court to reconsider its order of making the National Anthem being mandatory in cinema halls before the screening of films. On Monday, the Centre said that an inter-ministerial committee is being asked to look into the matter, reported the Indian Express. The government has said that it will take a call once the committee submits its recommendations in six months. However, the National Anthem will be played mandatorily in cinema halls until further order.
The government said an inter-ministerial committee has been set up as the framing of guidelines describing circumstances and occasions on which the national anthem is to be played or sung, and observance of proper decorum on such occasions requires extensive consultations. This has been conveyed to the apex court in an affidavit filed by Deepak Kumar, Under Secretary in the Union Home Ministry. The national anthem matter is due for hearing on Tuesday before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
According to the affidavit filed, it says that the court “may consider” restoring the position that existed prior to November 30, 2016 when the cinema halls across the country were asked to play the national anthem before the screening of films and the audience must stand and show respect till the anthem concludes, in a bid to “instil” a “sense of committed patriotism and nationalism” among people. The decision was taken by a bench of Justices Dipak Misra — before his elevation as CJI — and Amitava Roy.
Earlier, in October 2017, the top Court had asked the Centre to consider amending the national flag code for regulating the playing of the National Anthem in cinema halls across the country. A bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said the Centre has to take a call uninfluenced by its earlier order on the playing of the national anthem in the theatres. It had said that “love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the national anthem as well as to the national flag.”