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15 JUNE, 2017 (MAINS)



Q1.  The recent Supreme Court order on cinema halls to play the National Anthem and for the audience to stand up in respect of the Anthem is an instance of judicial overreach. Critically analyze this statement. Also discuss the stand of the Supreme Court in the Bijoe Emmanuel case. (200 words)


Please write the answer in comments section

  • Osho Korde

    In a new clarification by the SC on its national anthem order, it has said that the audience need not stand up when the national anthem is played as a part of the movie. It has also clarified that it is not compulsory to sing the national anthem while it is being played.
    It is not in judiciary’s sphere to pass orders on issues such as playing of national anthem and rules related to it. Singing National anthem is a personal feeling and should not be dictated as part of judicial order, Patriotism comes from within and cannot be forced. There may be people who may not be able to stand up. Cinema is for entertainment and not to learn lessons. Had such an order passed for schools, it would have been acceptable as well as commendable as students are being imbibed with national spirit.
    But still
    Respect for national identities is an obligation upon people. People should commit themselves to national interest, unity, integrity and security. Thus, it is responsibility of judiciary to defend and protect constitution if it is needed in its opinion.

    However, Courts have always taken into consideration the diverse faiths and beliefs practiced by citizens.
    The 1986 Supreme Court judgment in Bijoe Emmanuel vs. State of Kerala dealing with the expulsion of three children who belonged to the Jehovah’s Witnesses sect, for refusing to sing the national anthem in school, said this was contrary to fundamental rights of free speech and freedom to practise their religion

    The constitution is still growing and emerging as a tool for resolution of disputes and is working well. Hence, the elements which aim to destroy the nation through petty issues and petty aims should be dealt with firmly.