Standing for National Anthem in movie theatres not a measure of patriotism

Standing for National Anthem in movie theatres not a measure of patriotism

Supreme Court judge Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on Monday lashed out at the logic behind the November 30, 2016 order mandating movie-goers to stand up when the National Anthem is featured in cinema halls before every show, saying there is no need for an Indian to "wear his patriotism on his sleeve".

He said that India was a diverse country and the national anthem in cinema halls will bring in uniformity.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra, who had ruled a year ago that the anthem must be played before every show at cinema theatres, was among the three judges who said today that the Centre should decide whether to modify that order without being influenced by what the court had said earlier.

The Centre, represented by Attorney General KK Venugopal, was clearly of the opinion that the earlier order should not be modified.

The court's strong remarks came during the hearing on a PIL filed previous year by one Shyam Narayan Chouksey seeking directions that the national anthem should be played in all the cinema halls before a film begins.

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Bar and Bench reported that CU Singh, a senior advocate appearing for a film society, questioned why the court should interfere in the case now, especially that "there is a regime in place regarding this since 2005 which is continuing".

People go to cinema for undiluted entertainment.

The bench said "You (Centre) take a call". "What if someone objects to wearing shorts in Cinema halls, where do we stop this moral policing", Justice DY Chandrachud said.

The Court then proceeded to order that the Centre may take a call on the issue one way or the other by issuing an appropriate notification/circular. The next hearing will reportedly be on January 9, 2018.

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