No need for national anthem in theatres

The Centre on Monday asked the Supreme Court to put on hold its order that made playing the national anthem in cinema halls mandatory, effectively reversing its support of the November 2016 directive that drew flak from free speech activists.

More than year after the order was implemented, the government said it had constituted an inter-ministerial committee to frame new guidelines on playing of the national anthem and would require six months to finalise them.

Until then, the Centre urged the top court to “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” with regard to the direction that mandates playing of national anthem in cinema halls before a movie starts.

The government made the representation in an affidavit filed by MHA’s under secretary, Deepak Kumar.

“Upon consideration of the recommendations made by the Committee, the government may bring out the requisite notification or circular or rules in this regard, if required,” added the affidavit.
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