The Supreme Court on Tuesday modified its year-old order that made it mandatory for cinema halls to play the national anthem before screening the films, ANI reported. The court made the decision a day after the Centre urged it to hold the November 2016 order and said it would set up a panel to frame rules on playing the anthem in public places.
In its affidavit, the government had said the Supreme Court should “consider restoration of status quo ante, which is restoration of the position as it stood before the order was passed by the court on November 30, 2016”, until the new rules are in place.
An inter-ministerial committee had been formed to frame guidelines on “all aspects relating to the playing and singing of the national anthem”, the Centre said on Monday, adding that the guidelines will be ready in six months, reported The Hindu.
The Centre’s response came months after the Supreme Court asked it to decide whether it should be compulsory for the national anthem to be played in theatres. The court wanted the government’s decision by January 2018.
During the hearing in October 2017, Justice DY Chandrachud had criticised the government for supporting the previous order, saying, “Next, you will want people to stop wearing t-shirts and shorts to cinema halls, calling it disrespect to the national anthem.” “Where will this moral policing stop?” Chandrachud had said then, adding that people go to movie halls for “undiluted entertainment”.