Stay order on national anthem in cinemas, government tells SC

Updated : Jan 09, 2017, 23:24 IST

New Delhi, Jan. Jan 8  The Central government on Monday asked the Supreme Court to put on hold its December 2016 order making mandatory the playing of national anthem in cinema halls and the audience to stand up during its rendition.

Telling the top court that it has set-up an inter-ministerial committee for framing guidelines describing occasions and circumstances in which the national anthem is to be played or sung and the observance of proper decorum, it said that it would require extensive discussions on wide ranging issues.

Telling the court that the committee has been asked to submit report with its recommendations in six months, the Centre urged the top court to put on hold its direction vis-a-vis playing of national anthem in cinema halls.

The Supreme Court may consider restoration of “status quo ante until then”, that is restoration of the position as it stood before the December 2016 order.

The matter will come up for hearing on Tuesday.

The government stand comes as a total summersault of its previous stand on the issue.

The Supreme Court, on October 23, asked the government to consider amending the national flag code for regulating the playing of national anthem in cinema halls across the country.

And while Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, who was a member of the bench along with Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A.M. Khnawilkar, questioned the logic behind the order, saying there is no need for an Indian to “wear his patriotism on his sleeve”, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said India was a diverse country and the national anthem needs to be played in the cinema halls to bring in unity.