National anthem to be played in all film theatres, orders Supreme Court

SansadTV Bureau

supreme_courtOn Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that the national anthem must be played in all cinema halls across the country before the start of a film. The apex court also observed that the national flag should be shown on the screen when the anthem is playing and that people should stand up as a mark of respect.

“People must feel this is my country and this is my motherland,” a bench of justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said while stressing that it is the duty of every citizen of the country to show respect to the national anthem and the flag.

“At the root of protocol for national anthem, is respect for national identity, integrity and constitutional patriotism,” the bench said while directing the Centre that the order should be implemented in a week’s time.

The court also directed that no person should take commercial benefit by playing the anthem and that it should not be dramatised.

The anthem should not be printed or displayed on undesirable objects, order the court.

The apex court also barred the anthem from being played on variety shows and its abridged version anywhere.

Directing that its order be shown in electronic and print media and be followed in letter and spirit, the court said, “Time has come when people should feel they live in a nation” and “even in Shastras, nationalism was accepted.”

The court’s directions came on a PIL filed by Shyam Narayan Chouksey seeking directions that the national anthem should be played in cinema halls across the country before a film begins and proper norms and protocol be fixed regarding its playing and singing at official functions and the programmes where constitutional dignitaries are present.

Last month, the apex court had issued notice to the Centre asking it to specify what would constitute disrespect to the national anthem.

(With inputs from PTI)