NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court modified its earlier ruling and ordered that it is no longer mandatory for cinema halls to play the national anthem at the beginning of every movie. The SC had in November 2016 made it mandatory for cinema halls to play the anthem.
The SC, however, clarified that in case a cinema hall plays the national anthem before the screening of any film, it is the duty of every citizen to stand except the disabled persons.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said a 12-member inter-ministerial committee, set up by the Centre, would take a final call on playing of the national anthem in the cinemas. The bench also said the committee should comprehensively look into all the aspects relating to the playing of national anthem and allowed the petitioners to make representations before the panel.
The modified order comes after the Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that it may not be necessary to play national anthem in cinema halls and told the court that an Inter-Ministerial Committee has been set-up to frame new guidelines on the issue.
The Centre had said that the final action will be based on the recommendations of the committee.
In October 2017, the SC questioned if it should be compulsory for national anthem to be played in theatres, and had asked the government to come up with a response by January 2018.
The Supreme Court had on November 30, 2016, made it mandatory for movie halls to play the national anthem before the screening of movies. It had later clarified that movie watchers would not be obliged to stand for the anthem if it is part of the film that is being screened.