The Supreme Court declined to take up a plea to make the playing of the National Anthem mandatory in all courts without a formal petition and asked the lawyer to file a proper plea. The court has also sought the assistance of the Attorney General in this regard.
The petition comes in the back drop of the top court making it compulsory for the National Anthem to be played at all cinema halls before the screening of a film. The bench had also said, ‘..all present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the national anthem’ as a part of their ‘sacred obligation.’ The bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy had added that the movie screen shall have the image of the national flag when the anthem is being played and that doors of the halls will remain shut during the anthem so that no disturbance is caused.
Responding to a PIL filed by a retired engineer from Bhopal, Shyam Narayan Chouksey, the apex court had further prohibited “commercial exploitation” of the anthem for incurring commercial benefits or using an abridged version of it, while adding the anthem cannot be dramatized and used in variety TV shows. It also granted 10 days for states and union territories to give effect to the directions.
The court ruling has stirred up reactions with many on social media demanding the anthem to be played not just in cinema halls but in Parliament, courts and state Assemblies.