The Centre was today asked by the Delhi High Court to take action against a leading television channel for allegedly misusing the national anthem in various cinema halls for “commercial” promotion of its popular reality show Big Boss 6.
A bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw asked the Centre to take action within a week on a plea which accused television channel Colours of misusing the national anthem and “hurting the sentiments of citizens of India.”
“In the wake of serious allegations levelled by the petitioner that the national anthem is disrespected,we direct the Central government to treat this PIL as representation and the grievances will be dealt with in accordance with the law. Necessary action would be taken by the concerned ministry against the respondents within a week,” said the bench.
The PIL had been filed by advocate Jeetender Gupta who accused the TV channel Colours of misusing the national anthem to promote ‘Big Boss 6’ in various city multiplexes and movie halls in other parts of the country.
Gupta’s petition explained to the court that during screening of movies,theatres and multiplexes randomly display an advertisement of TV show Big Boss 6,followed by an announcement for the audiences that “the Big Boss wants you all to stand up” as the national anthem is to be played.
Additional Solicitor General Rajeev Mehra,appearing for the Centre told the court that he will inform the concerned ministry for necessary steps to stop such advertisement.
The petitioner said he had gone to watch movies in two cinema halls at different times and found the same advertisement issued by the TV channel in both the theatres. In his petition,Gupta said,”The theatres randomly display an advertisement inside the movie halls. The said advertisement was in the form of a visual displaying the logo of TV show Big Boss 6 followed by an audio demanding all present in the hall to stand for national anthem — Big Boss Chahte Hai Ki Aap Rashtriya Gaan Ke Liye Khade Ho — and then the national anthem is played.”
“The advertisement appeared randomly without any notice. It was not even part of the main feature. It was observed to be played at different sequence in different movie halls and played much before the main movie,” the petitioner added.
The PIL had sought the court to direct the Centre to prevent the TV channel as well as the theatres from violating the various provisions of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act and also the Emblems and Names (prevention of improper use) Act.