Centre to review rules on anthem

The court had justified the playing of the anthem in cinema halls, seeing it as an opportunity for the public to express their “love for the motherland.”

The Bench had observed that the protocol of showing respect and honour to the anthem was rooted in “our national identity, national integrity and constitutional patriotism.”

But the order had attracted criticism from within the highest judiciary itself. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, while sharing a Supreme Court Bench with Justice Misra (now Chief Justice) in October 2017, had doubted the logic behind the order, saying there was no need for an Indian to “wear his patriotism on his sleeves.”

“The next thing will be that people should not wear T-shirts and shorts to the movies because it will amount to disrespect to the National Anthem... where do we stop this moral policing?” Justice Chandrachud had observed.

The Bench was hearing a petition filed by the Kodungalloor Film Society, Kerala, to recall the order. The apex court had then left it to the government to “take a call” and issue a notification describing the circumstances and occasions for showing respect to the National Anthem.

On November 30, 2016, a Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra, before he became the CJI, had directed that “all cinema halls shall play the National Anthem before the feature film starts and all present are obliged to stand to show respect...” The November 2016 order had come on a writ petition filed by Shyam Narayan Chouksey.

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