Post a suggestion by the central government that the playing of National Anthem in cinema halls should be optional, the Supreme Court of India while modifying its 2016 order, said that the activity is not mandatory. The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misha however said that the final decision in the matter is government’s prerogative based on the guidelines suggested by the ministerial panel set up by the government concerning the matter.
The central government on Monday filed a affidavit with the court informing about a 12-member ministerial panel (consisting of members from different ministries), which is in the process of framing guidelines relating to occasions when the National Anthem is to be played or sung and observance of etiquettes on such occasions.
The Supreme Court on November 30, 2016, had made the playing of National Anthem in cinema halls compulsory and had stated that one should stand up till the anthem is played. SC said that doing this will instill a sense of patriotism in everyone. The move was met with approvals and disapprovals thereby making the topic a national debate.