National Anthem case: The public interest petitioner Shyam Narayan Chouksey has yet again brought to the forefront the issue of honouring the national anthem and for it being played in the cinema halls before the screening of the movie. His petition was heard by Justice Dipak Misra.
Former Attorney General Sorabjee’s views differ with SC on the National Anthem Case
The Supreme Court’s order to mandate playing the national anthem in the cinema halls has been severely criticised by the experts, as Former Attorney General Soli J Sorabjee said, “How can the court compel a cinema theatre to play the national anthem? Can the cinema hall owners be hauled up for disrespecting the national anthem if some of the patrons did not stand up when it was being screened? There are many questions which are not answered by the court in its interim directions.”
Also he said that the Supreme court’s order is in contrast to what had been decided by the court in the ‘Bijoe Emmanuel case’.
In 2003, the same issue was brought to the Madhya Pradesh High Court by Chouksey in which he had blammed the renowned filmmaker Karan Johar for disrespecting the national anthem in his movie Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham as adequate reverence was not given to it in the movie sequence including the anthem and the audience did not stand up while it was played.
Justice Misra had stated that anybody who disrespects the national anthem will be regarded as the individual’s partaking in an anti-national act, and that “national anthem being the honour, pride and symbol of India and it is basically being the symbol of sovereignty and integrity of India, every citizen is under the obligation to respect.”
However, he had added that “no one is permitted to pave the path of deviancy and introduce the theory totalistic individualism in the name of freedom of expression.”