Shyam Narayan Chouksey vs Union of India - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2018

 Shyam Narayan Chouksey vs Union of India - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2018 - 

On 9th January, 2018, in the case of Shyam Narayan Chouksey v. Union of India & Others [Writ Petition (Civil) No.855 of 2016], prayer was made for issue of a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction commanding the respondents to take appropriate steps for inculcating in the public a proper sense for paying due respect to the National Anthem; to issue a writ, order or direction as to what is required to be done and not to be done when the National Anthem is being played or sung; to specify what will constitute disrespect and abuse of the National Anthem; and to restrain the use of the National Anthem for any commercial exploitation or to gain financial advantage in any manner.

On 30th November, 2016, the Supreme Court had passed an interim order in this regard. Subsequently, in terms of Order/Notification dated 5th December, 2017, an interMinisterial Committee was appointed by the Union Government to submit recommendations for regulating the playing/singing of the National Anthem and to suggest changes in the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 or in the Orders relating to the National Anthem of India.

On consideration of the matter, the Supreme Court held that “one is compelled to show respect whenever and wherever the National Anthem is played. It is the elan vital of the Nation and fundamental grammar of belonging to a nation state. However, the prescription of the place or occasion has to be made by the executive keeping in view the concept of fundamental duties provided under the Constitution and the law.”

The order passed on 30th November, 2016, was modified to the extent “that playing of the National Anthem prior to the screening of feature films in cinema halls is not mandatory, but optional or directory.” The Committee appointed by the Union government was directed to submit its recommendations to the competent authority in terms of the Notification dated 5th December, 2017, for follow up action. The exemption earlier granted to disabled persons was directed to remain in force “till the final decision of the competent authority with regard to each occasion whenever the National Anthem is played or sung.”


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