Cen­tre urges SC to mod­ify order on play­ing of an­them in halls

Millennium Post - - FRONT PAGE -

NEW DELHI: In a change of stand, the Cen­tre on Mon­day sug­gested the Supreme Court to mod­ify its ear­lier order making it manda­tory for cin­ema halls to play the na­tional an­them be­fore screen­ing of a fea­ture film.

It said an in­ter-min­is­te­rial com­mit­tee has been set up as fram­ing of guide­lines de­scrib­ing cir­cum­stances and oc­ca­sions on which the na­tional an­them is to be played or sung, and ob­ser­vance of proper deco­rum on such oc­cas­sions re­quires ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tions.

The govern­ment said the top court may "con­sider the restora­tion of sta­tus quo ante un­til then i.e restora­tion of the po­si­tion as it stood be­fore the order passed by this court on Novem­ber 30, 2016" as it man­dates the play­ing of the Na­tional An­them in all cin­e­mas be­fore the fea­ture film starts.

The govern­ment said it has de­cided to con­sti­tute an in­ter­min­is­te­rial com­mit­tee headed by Ad­di­tional Sec­re­tary (Bor­der Man­age­ment), Min­istry of Home Af­fairs, with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from var­i­ous other min­istries, in­clud­ing the Min­istries of De­fence, Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs, Cul­ture, Woman and Child De­vel­op­ment and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs.

It would also have rep­re­sen- tatives of Min­istries of In­for­ma­tion and Broad­cast­ing and Mi­nor­ity Af­fairs, De­part­ment of Le­gal Af­fairs, De­part­ment of School Ed­u­ca­tion and Lit­er­acy and the De­part­ment of Em­pow­er­ment of Per­sons with Dis­abil­ity, the af­fi­davit filed by Cen­tre said.

It said the com­mit­tee has to con­sider a wide range of is­sues re­lat­ing to the na­tional an­them, and have ex­ten­sive dis­cus­sions with var­i­ous min­istries. The com­mit­tee will give its rec­om­men­da­tions in six months from the date of its con­sti­tu­tion, it said.

The Cen­tre in its four-page af­fi­davit said upon con­sid­er­a­tion of the rec­om­men­da­tion made by the panel, the govern­ment may bring out the req­ui­site no­ti­fi­ca­tion or cir­cu­lar or rules in this re­gard, if re­quired.

Dur­ing the hear­ing on a PIL on Oc­to­ber 23, At­tor­ney Gen­eral K K Venu­gopal, ap­pear­ing for the Cen­tre, had said In­dia was a di­verse coun­try and the na­tional an­them needed to be played in cin­ema halls to bring in uni­for­mity.

He had said it should be left open to the govern­ment to take a call on its own dis­cre­tion on whether the an­them should be played in the­atres and whether peo­ple should stand up for it.

The apex court had then ob­served that peo­ple do not need to stand up in the cin­ema halls to prove their pa­tri­o­tism and asked the Cen­tre to con­sider amend­ing the rules for reg­u­lat­ing play­ing of the na­tional an­them in the the­atres.

It had ob­served that it can­not be as­sumed that if a per­son does not stand up for the na­tional an­them, he is "less pa­tri­otic" and the peo­ple "can­not be forced to carry pa­tri­o­tism on their sleeves."

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