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

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.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 1:07:22 PM |

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