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No more national anthem in cinema halls. SC recalls its 2016 order

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Panel will frame rules on national anthem in theatres and public space Centre tells Supreme Court

"The next thing will be that people should not wear T-shirts and shorts to the movies because it will amount to disrespect to the National Anthem. where do we stop this moral policing?" The order said that this practice would "instil a feeling within one a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism".

On November 30, 2016, a Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra, before he became the CJI, had directed that "all cinema halls shall play the National Anthem before the feature film starts and all present are obliged to stand to show respect".

The final decision on the issue can be taken once a ministrial panel comes up with its guidelines on this, the centre insisted. The government will also set up a committee to review the order.

"Upon consideration of the recommendations made by the Committee, the government may bring out the requisite notification or circular or rules in this regard, if required", the affidavit said.

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The matter will come up for hearing on Tuesday. He said that the committee would take at least 6 months to study all aspects relating to the singing of the National Anthem and also the manner in which respect ought to be given.

In the last hearing the court had questioned the government why they do not change the rules and the pertinent law when they had been in favour of a new regime as far as playing of the National Anthem is concerned.

The Kodungalloor Film Society from Kerala had argued for the 2016 order to be withdrawn in the Supreme Court in October 2017.

The affidavit, submitted by the Ministry of Home Affairs, apprised the Court of setting up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to frame new guidelines on playing of the National Anthem after considering "wide ranging issues". "Nowadays, the anthem is played during matches, tournaments and even Olympics where half of the crowd does not understand its meaning", said Justice DY Chandrachud.

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