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Disabled people need not stand up for anthem, but action must show respect: SC

Physically challenged people need not stand up, but need to ‘show conduct’ which will exhibit respect for the national anthem in cinema halls, the Supreme Court said on Friday.

india Updated: Dec 09, 2016 18:51 IST
PTI
The Centre will issue ‘guidelines’ in ten days on how handicapped persons should ‘show respect’ to the national anthem.
The Centre will issue ‘guidelines’ in ten days on how handicapped persons should ‘show respect’ to the national anthem. (Sunil Saxena/HT Photo)

Physically challenged people need not stand up, but need to ‘show conduct’ which will exhibit respect for the national anthem in cinema halls, the Supreme Court said on Friday.

The Centre will issue ‘guidelines’ in ten days on how handicapped persons should ‘show respect’ to the national anthem.

“As the guidelines are going to be issued, we clarify, if a physically challenged person or physically handicapped person goes to the cinema hall to watch a film, he need not stand up, if he is incapable to stand, but must show such conduct which is commensurate with respect for the national anthem...” the order said.

The order was passed by a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy, which agreed to hear a plea seeking recall of its order mandating playing of the National Anthem in cinema halls.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi informed the apex court that the Centre will issue guidelines within ten days.

The Supreme Court also clarified that doors of theatres need not be bolted when the national anthem is played.

“Another aspect needs to be cleared. When we said that the doors shall be closed, we did not mean that the doors shall be bolted as mentioned in the case of Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Delhi vs. Uphaar Tragedy Victims Association and Ors. ...but only to regulate the ingress and egress during the period while the National Anthem is played,” the bench said.

The clarifications came after an organiser of an international film festival in Kerala moved the apex court seeking exemption from the November 30 on the ground that it would cause inconvenience to its 1,500 foreign guests.

The matter is now fixed for hearing on February 14, 2017.

In a bid to “instil committed patriotism and nationalism”, the top court had ordered cinema halls across the nation to mandatorily play the national anthem before screening of a movie and the audience must stand and show respect.

The apex court had said that, “love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the national anthem as well as to the national flag”.