Supreme Court orders National Anthem to be played before Movie Screening in Cinema Halls

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today, ordered all cinema halls countrywide to play the national anthem before the screening of films and that all present must “stand up in respect” till the anthem ended. It said the practice would “instill a feeling within one a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism.” Cinema halls should also display the national flag on screen when the anthem is played, it said.

The Union government, represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, said it completely agreed with need for specific guidelines to show respect and honour for the national anthem and the flag.

In its interim order, while awaiting a detailed response from the Centre, the court issued a complete ban on the commercial exploitation of the national anthem and the flag.

The court banned dramatisation of the anthem or it to be used in any part of any variety shows or for entertainment purposes.

“Dramatisation at this point is absolutely inconceivable,” Justice Misra, who dictated the order for the Bench, observed.

The court banned the display of the national anthem on any “undesirable or disgraceful places.” It said such display “tantamounts to disrespect.”

It also banned the display, recitation or use of the abridged version of the national anthem.

Justice Misra said all the doors of cinema halls must be closed when the national anthem is being played to prevent people from entering or exiting.

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