People not obliged to stand up when National Anthem is played as part of film: SC

Privacy is a fundamental right, rules Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that people are not obliged to stand up when National Anthem is played as part of a film or documentary. The decision came months after the court had ordered that National Anthem must be played in all the cinema halls across the nation at the start of a film.

Earlier, the SC also ordered playing of National Anthem at the start of a film in theaters and had said that everyone present in the cinema halls must stand up at the time of National Anthem playing and show respect towards it.

The court also ruled that the full version should be played and not the edited one. “People must feel this is my country and this is my motherland,” a bench of justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said while emphasizing that it is the responsibility of each citizen of the nation to show respect to the national anthem and the flag.

“At the root of protocol for the national anthem, is respect for national identity, integrity, and constitutional patriotism,” the bench had said.

The verdict was given on a PIL filed by Shyam Narayan Chouksey.  Chouksey sought that the national anthem should be played in cinema halls across the country before a film begins with following proper norms and protocol. Afterward, the court had last month issued a notice to the Centre asking it to specify what would constitute disrespect to the national anthem.

Notably, megastar Amitabh Bachchan and Shoojit Sircar had backed the move to make the playing of National Anthem compulsory in movie theaters.

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