Supreme Court refuses to recall order on National Anthem

Posted October 24, 2017

Justice Chandrachud was part of a three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra hearing a petition filed by Kodungalloor Film Society in Kerala to recall the November order.

The bench said this during the hearing when Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the centre said the national anthem needs to be played in the cinema halls to bring in uniformity in this diverse country.

Supreme Court was declared that patriotism can not be forced through court orders and that whether or not a person stand for the Anthem can not be used as a measure of patriotism. People go to cinema halls for undiluted entertainment.

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The court, on November 30, 2016, had made it mandatory for movie halls to play the National Anthem before the screening of movies. With the plaintiff also seeking several other directions, the main case and other tagged cases are still pending. "By reason of the vast diversity in the country, based on religion, caste, race and different regions it becomes necessary to have a unifying force which could be brought about by playing national anthem in theatres".

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Gujarat government to apprise it within four weeks whether any departmental action was initiated or taken against the police officers whose conviction in the case of gang-rape of Bilkis Bano on March 3, 2002 during the Gujarat riots was upheld. Attorney General K K Venugopal represented the Centre in court.

"Should the court enforce all directions given under Article 51 (A) (fundamental duties) of the Constitution", Justice Chandrachud further asked.

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After last year's order, movie-goers are required to stand for the anthem before every show. Where do we draw a line?

"Next thing will be that people should not wear T-shirts and shorts to movies because it will amount to disrespect to the National Anthem... where do we stop this moral policing?" The Court while making the observation said that citizens should not be forced to 'carry patriotism on their sleeves, ' and that patriotism can't be inculcated like this. He pointed out that it is an offence if the national flag is defaced, burnt or disfigured.

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