Centre changes stand on national anthem in cinema halls

Final decision will be based on the Inter-Ministerial Committee's recommendations, government tells top court

Centre changes stand on national anthem in cinema halls

NEW DELHI: Changing its stance of playing the National Anthem before the start of a movie, the Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that it may not be necessary to play National Anthem in cinema halls anymore.

Requesting the Supreme Court to modify its order that makes National Anthem mandatory in cinema halls across the country, the government asked SC to restore status quo ante.

The government further told the court that an Inter-Ministerial Committee has been set-up to frame new guidelines on the issue.

In an affidavit, the Centre told the top court that the final action will be based on the committee's recommendations. It also said that the entire exercise will need six months, said reports.

The court will hear the matter again on Tuesday.

On October 23, 2017, the SC asked earlier asked if should be compulsory for the national anthem to be played in theatres, asking the government to come up with a response by January 2018.

The top court had further said that standing for National Anthem in movie theatre not a measure of patriotism.

The Supreme Court on November 30, 2016, had made it mandatory for movie halls to play the National Anthem before the screening of movies. It had later clarified that movie watchers would not be obliged to stand for the anthem if it is part of the film that is being screened.