The Supreme Court has clarified that people are not obliged to stand up when the National Anthem is played as a part of a film, newsreel or a documentary.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi made this clear after one of the petitioners said that the apex court should clarify if people are expected to stand when the National Anthem is played in a film, newsreel or documentary.
"It is clarified that when the National Anthem is played as part of the storyline of a film, newsreel or a documentary the audience need not stand," the bench said.
SC clarifies that people are not obliged to stand up when the National Anthem is played as and in part of a film or documentary— ANI (@ANI_news) February 14, 2017
The bench, which said the issue raised by petitioners needs to be debated, has fixed the matter for further hearing on April 18.
On 30 November, 2016, the Supreme Court passed an order making it compulsory for all movie theatres to play the national anthem before each screening for what it called 'the love of the motherland'.
This order had come on the PIL filed by one Shyam Narayan Chouksey seeking directions that National Anthem should be played in cinema halls across the country before a film begins and proper norms and protocol be fixed regarding its playing and singing at official functions and programmes where those holding constitutional office are present.
The apex court, while passing a slew of directions, had also observed that "time has come when citizens must realise they live in a nation and are duty-bound to show respect to National Anthem which is a symbol of constitutional patriotism and inherent national quality."
According to a report in the Hindustan Times right after the judgement, the move seemed to embolden 'Hindu groups' pushing 'a strident brand of nationalism'.
Since then many incidents have been reported where those who did not stand up for the national anthem were assaulted, beaten up and thrown out by those around them in a surge of nationalistic vigilantism.
(With inputs from agencies)
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