Supreme Court to assess PIL on playing the National Anthem in public offices

  • The Supreme Court, in November 2016, asked all cinemas to play the national anthem before a film is screened “for the love of the motherland”, reigniting a debate over whether an increasingly insistent brand of nationalistic pride is domineering civil liberties.
    After making playing of national anthem mandatory in cinema halls before screening of films, the Supreme Court has agreed to assess the feasibility of increasing the scope of its order to include playing the national anthem and song in Parliament, assemblies, public offices, courts and schools on working days.
    Senior advocate C U Singh, appearing for Kerala Film Society, pleaded the court to recall its order on mandatory playing of anthem in cinema halls and told the bench that the court should not venture into the realm of legislature. He said it was an essential function of Parliament to frame law and this order of the apex court violated separation of power principle.
    The court passed the order on a PIL filed by Delhi BJP spokesperson and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay.
    A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar issued notice to the Centre requesting its response on a plea for mandatory singing of the national anthem and national song in all public offices. The court also asked the government to respond on framing of a national policy to promote and propagate the national anthem, national song and national flag.

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