National Anthem not mandatory in cinema halls: SC

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The Supreme Court today reversed its 2016 order making it mandatory to play the national anthem in cinema halls.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that playing national anthem was not mandatory.

The court had asked the Centre to consider taking a call by 9 January on amending the National Flag code for regulating the playing of National Anthem in cinema halls across the country.

Refresh for more updates. The government also allowed petitioner Shyam Narayan Chouksey to take up his prayers with the committee. However, if a cinema hall does choose to play the National Anthem, people will have to stand up to show respect. It also refused to entertain another petition seeking equal status for the National Song Vande Mataram on par with the National Anthem. It has asked for a deadline of six months for the same.

"Upon consideration of the recommendations made by the Committee, the government may bring out the requisite notification or circular or rules in this regard, if required", added the affidavit. It had observed that it can not be assumed that if a person does not stand up for the national anthem, he is "less patriotic" and the people "cannot be forced to carry patriotism on their sleeves".

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The bench which was hearing the issue was headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

The order comes a day after the Centre urged the court to re-examine its earlier order which had made playing the National Anthem mandatory in theatres.

To stand or not to stand: The debate around the National Anthem playing in theatres continues.

Justice DY Chandrachud said that "one need not wear patriotism on his sleeve" and people went to the movie hall for undiluted entertainment.

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