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National Anthem must play in all cinema halls before screening: SC

National Anthem

New Delhi: The National Anthem must be played in all cinema halls across the country before a movie screening, the Supreme Court directed on Wednesday.

It will also be mandatory for every member in the audience to stand up and pay their respects to the Anthem when it is played, the apex court said. Further, the SC said the national flag should be shown on screen when the National Anthem is being played.

The directive also mandates that the national anthem should not be printed or displayed on undesirable objects and no commercial benefits be taken by a person by playing the anthem and there should not be any dramatisation of the national anthem too, it added.

The Centre and states have been given 10 days to implement the court’s order. The Centre said it will circulate the order to all states’ chief secretaries and will also publish it in the electronic and print media.

The directive comes based on a petition filed by Shyam Narayan Chouski, who runs an NGO in Bhopal.

It was mandatory for cinema halls to play the National Anthem after every movie in the 1960s. The practice faded away by the 1990s.

Notably, in 2016 November writer Salil Chaturvedi, also a wheel-chair bound paraplegic, was assaulted by a couple in a Goa movie hall for not standing for the National Anthem. The incident had triggered a massive outrage.

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