The Supreme Court today clarified that the audience need not stand when the National Anthem is played as a part of the storyline of a film, newsreel or documentary.
A Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R. Banumathi made this clear after one of the petitioners said the apex court should clarify if people are expected to stand when the National Anthem is played in a film, newsreel or documentary.
"It is clarified that when the National Anthem is played as part of the storyline of a film, newsreel or a documentary the audience need not stand,” the bench said.
The bench, which said the issue raised by petitioners needs to be debated, has fixed the matter for further hearing on April 18.
The apex court had ruled earlier that it was mandatory to play the National Anthem inside movie halls. People were not given clarity whether it was mandatory to stand up in respect of the Anthem. This led to confusion and in many case risked harassment of individuals for choosing not to stand up.
On December 1 last year, an Apex Court bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitav Roy ruled that the ruling was to instill "committed patriotism and nationalism” among the public.
"The directions are issued, for love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the National Anthem as well as to the National Flag. That apart, it would instill the feeling within one, a sense committed patriotism and nationalism,” the bench had said.
In a recent incident, a 59-year-old man was thrashed in a Mumbai movie hall for not standing up for the National Anthem when it was played before the movie Dangal.