Overturning its earlier order, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said that playing the national anthem before screening movies in cinema halls was no longer mandatory.
The ruling by a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra followed an order of November 2016 when an apex court bench including Justice Misra had made the playing of the national anthem compulsory in cinema halls before movies are screened.
The Central government on Monday told the top court that it had set up an inter-ministerial committee to frame guidelines to decide the circumstances when the national anthem should be played or sung with decorum and suggested that the earlier order could be reviewed.
Attorney General K.K. Venugopal urged the court to modify its 2016 order substituting “shall” with “may” for the playing of the national anthem in cinema halls.
The 2016 order had said that all viewers in the cinema halls should stand up when the national anthem was played.
Disposing of the petition by Shyam Narayan Chouksey, the court allowed him to take his case to the inter-ministerial committee.