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SC asks govt to consider regulating playing of national anthem in theatres

The apex court had last year ordered the theatres across the country to mandatorily play the national anthem before a movie

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Youngsters wave the national flag ahead of India's Independence Day, in Jammu on Saturday. (Photo: PTI)
Youngsters wave the national flag ahead of India's Independence Day, in Jammu on Saturday. (Photo: PTI)

The Supreme on Monday asked the Centre to consider amending the flag code for regulating the playing of the anthem in cinema halls across the country.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice 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 anthem in the theatres.


During the hearing, Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said was a diverse country and the anthem needs to be played in the cinema halls to bring in uniformity.

The bench indicated that it may modify its order of December 1, 2016, by which the playing of the anthem was made mandatory for cinema halls before the screening of a movie, and it may replace the word "shall" with "may".

The apex had last year ordered the theatres across the country to mandatorily play the anthem before a movie and the audience must stand and show respect, in a bid to "instil committed patriotism and nationalism".

It had said that "love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the anthem as well as to the flag".

The had barred printing of the anthem or a part of it on any object and displaying it in such a manner at places which may be "disgraceful to its status and tantamount to disrespect".

The court's directions had come on a PIL filed by one Shyam Narayan Chouksey seeking directions that the anthem should be played in all the cinema halls before a film begins.

It had also said proper norms and protocol should be fixed regarding its playing and singing at official functions and programmes where those holding constitutional office are present.

First Published: Mon, October 23 2017. 17:31 IST
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