Notice issued to Union of India in petition seeking direction to specify what constitutes disrespect and abuse of National Anthem

Supreme Court

Supreme Court: In the writ of mandamus seeking a direction asking the Union of India to specify what would be constituting disrespect and abuse of the National Anthem, the Court, considering the plea of the petitioner, issued notice to the Union of India returnable within 3 weeks.

The petitioner, along with the plea, also gave the below mentioned suggestions to avoid the abuse of the National Anthem:

  • There should be no commercial exploitation to gain financial advantage or any kind of benefit.
  • There should be no interruption in between till the completion of National Anthem and no abridged version of National Anthem shall be sung at any point of time.
  • There should not be dramatization of the National Anthem and it should not be sung in an entertainment programme.
  • It should not be sung before the people who do not understand it unless they are properly apprised that when the National Anthem of India is to be played, they are required to show respect.
  • It should not be printed on undesirable objects and should not be displayed in such a manner and at such places which may be disgraceful to its status and may tantamount to disrespect.

Stating certain examples that on one occasion, during an interview, the National Anthem was played to test the behavioral pattern of the candidate and that on certain occasions, the same is played in a variety show to dramatize the whole thing, the petitioner contended that sometimes the National Anthem is sung in various circumstances which are not permissible and cannot be legally countenanced regard being had to the national honour. It was also prayed that directions should be issued that the National Anthem should be played in the cinema theaters across the country before the feature film and proper norms and protocol should be fixed with regard to playing or singing of National Anthem in an official function and the functions where certain constitutional dignitaries are present in strict compliance. The Bench of Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy, JJ will hear the matter on 30.11.2016. [Shyam Narayan Chouksey v. Union of India, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 1211  order dated 28.10.2016]

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