Respect for national flag, anthem non-negotiable, Centre tells SC

Court exempts more categories of disabled persons

Published - April 18, 2017 10:55 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Even as the Centre asserted that respect for the national anthem, flag is “a matter of national pride and non-negotiable”, the Supreme Court questioned the need to expressively define ‘respect’ for the two national symbols when such a feeling of reverence is already inherent in the Constitution.

A three-judge Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, A.M. Khanwilkar and M.M. Shantanagoudar modified the court’s November 30, 2016 order, making it compulsory for all to stand up in cinema halls when the national anthem is played.

On Tuesday, the court exempted persons “who are wheel chair users, those with autism, persons suffering from cerebral palsy, multiple disabilities, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, leprosy cured, muscular dystrophy and deaf and blind” from the ambit of its November 30 order. Earlier, in December 2016, the court had exempted physically challenged persons from standing up for the anthem.

At the centre of the legal battle is a petition filed by Shyam Narayan Chouksey in October 2016. It wants Parliament to apply its mind and define ‘respect’ for the national anthem and flag under Article 51A (a) of the Constitution. If not, it alternatively wants the Supreme Court to issue a mandamus to the government to frame guidelines.

“The national flag and the national anthem is a matter of national pride. It is non-negotiable. It is unfortunate that somebody had to move the court seeking respect for the national flag, anthem,” Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for the Centre, submitted.

Meanwhile, the SC issued notice to the Centre on a petition filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay to make singing or rendering of national anthem and song compulsory in Parliament, Assemblies, public offices and all schools.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.