The Supreme Court on Tuesday clarified that the audience need not stand when the national anthem is sung or played in the storyline of a feature film or part of a newsreel or documentary.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi observed this after amicus curiae and senior advocate Siddharth Luthra said it may be clarified that people are not expected to stand when the National Anthem is sung or played as a part of the storyline in a film, newsreel or documentary.
The court’s clarification came after attorney general Mukul Rohatgi accepted the suggestion of the amicus curiae.
“In view of the aforesaid, it is clarified that when the national anthem is sung or played in the storyline of a feature film or part of the newsreel or documentary, apart from what has been stated in the order dated November 30, 2016, the audience need not stand,” the bench said.
The apex court referred to the provisions of the new legislation ‘The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 and said that the Centre may come out with a notification within a week on the lines of its interim order passed on December 9 last year.
On that day, the apex court had modified its earlier order by exempting physically handicapped persons from standing when the national anthem was played before the screening of a movie in cinema halls across the nation.
The apex court has now listed the matter for further hearing on April 18.
At the fag end of the hearing, the bench observed that the matter was required to be debated and it may be referred to the constitution bench as well.
“There has to be a debate. The order has to be debated. It may be correct. It may be not correct. It (the matter) may be sent to the constitution bench,” the bench said.