National anthem must be played before screening of films: Supreme Court


  • The Supreme Court ordered all cinema halls across the country to play the national anthem before the screening of films and that all present must “stand up in respect” till the anthem ended.
  • The practice would “instill a feeling within one a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism.”
  • Cinema halls should also display national flag on screen when anthem is played.
  • The Bench said it is the duty of every person to show respect when the national anthem is played or recited or sung under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act of 1951.
  • The Bench said too much has been indulged in the name of “individually perceived notions of freedom.”
  • In its interim order, while awaiting response from the Centre, the court issued a complete ban on the commercial exploitation of the national anthem and the flag.
  • The court banned dramatisation of the anthem or it to be used in any part of any variety shows or for entertainment purposes.
  • All the doors of cinema halls must be closed when the national anthem is being played to prevent people from entering or exiting.
  • The Bench said the protocol of showing respect and honour to the anthem and flag is rooted in “our national identity, integrity and constitutional patriotism.”
  • The PIL was filed by Shyam Narayan Chouskey seeking a set of parameters on what amounts to abuse of the anthem.
  • The Supreme Court’s decision to consider this PIL followed after a wheelchairbound man was assaulted by a couple at a cinema hall in Panaji for not standing up during the rendition of the anthem.
  • The petition sought the anthem to be played in cinema halls across the country before screening of films and also issue a protocol for the playing or singing of the anthem at functions where constitutional dignitaries are in attendance.