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Audience need not stand up when Anthem played in Films: Supreme Court

Supreme Court clarifies the fact that the audience need not stand up while the National Anthem is being played during the screening of a film

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New Delhi, Feb 14, 2017:  It was clarified by the Supreme Court today that the audience need not stand up when the National Anthem is played as a part of the story-line of a film, documentary or newsreel.

According to PTI reports, A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi made this much-anticipated clarification after one of the petitioners said that the apex court should clarify if people are supposed to stand when the National Anthem is being played in a film, newsreel or documentary.

“It is clarified that when the National Anthem is played as part of the storyline of a film, newsreel or a documentary the audience need not stand,” the bench stated.

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The matter has been fixed for further hearing on April 18 by the bench, which said the issue raised by petitioners needs to be debated.

On November 30 last year, cinema halls across the nation were ordered by the apex court to mandatorily play the National Anthem before the screening of any movie . The audience had to stand up during the anthem and show respect.

This order had come on the PIL filed by one Shyam Narayan Chouksey seeking directions that National Anthem should be played in cinema halls across the country before the beginning of a film and proper norms and protocol should be fixed when it comes to the playing and singing of the National Anthem at official functions and events in the presence of those holding constitutional office.

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It had also been observed by the apex court, while passing a slew of directions that “time has come when citizens must realise they live in a nation and are bound by duty to show respect to National Anthem which is a symbol of constitutional patriotism and inherent national quality.”

It had also mentioned that, “When one shows respect to the National Anthem as well as to the National Flag, love and respect for the motherland is reflected”.

Printing of the anthem or part of it on any object and showcasing it in such a manner at certain places which may be “disgraceful to its status and tantamount to disrespect” had been barred by the orders of the court. Playing or displaying an “abridged version” of the anthem had also been strictly prohibited.

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The apex court has been approached by various other petitioners. The court has tagged them with and the bench has tagged with the main petition.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

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India Gets A Win, Supreme Court Decriminalizes Homosexuality

In December 2013, a Supreme Court bench said that it was for the legislature to look into desirability of deleting section 377 of IPC.

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SC decriminalises homosexuality, victory for gay rights. Pixabay

 In a historic verdict, the Supreme Court on Thursday decriminalised homosexuality between consenting adults by declaring Section 377, the penal provision which criminalised gay sex, as “manifestly arbitrary”.

In separate but unanimous verdicts, a five-judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Rohinton Nariman, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra partially struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as unconstitutional.

The bench said it is no longer an offence for LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, intersex and queer/questioning) community to engage in consensual sex between two adults in private.

Reading out the judgment, Chief Justice Misra said attitudes and mentality have to change to accept others’ identity and accept what they are, and not what they should be.

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LGBTIQ people have a right to live unshackled from the shadow.
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“It is the constitutional and not social morality which will prevail,” said the court.

The verdict sparked celebrations in the LGBTIQ community across India even as the judgment was being read out. Many of the community members who had assembled outside the apex court jumped in joy and distributed sweets.

Chief Justice Misra said consensual sex between adults in a private space, which is not harmful to women or children, cannot be denied as it is a matter of individual choice.

Section 377 will not apply to consensual same-sex acts between homosexuals, heterosexuals, lesbians, the court said, clarifying that sexual act without consent and bestiality will continue to be an offence under section 377.

“An individual has full liberty over his or her body and his or her sexual orientation is a matter of one’s choice,” said the Chief Justice.

“Time to bid adieu to prejudicial perceptions deeply ingrained in social mindset. Time to empower LGBTIQ community against discrimination. They should be allowed to make their choices,” he added.

Homosexuality, India
In separate but unanimous verdicts, a five-judge Constitution Bench struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as unconstitutional. Pixabay

 

In a concurring judgement, Justice Nariman said homosexuality is “not a mental disorder or disease”.

He said the LGBTIQ community has an equal right to live with dignity and are entitled to equal protection of law. He directed the Centre to give wide publicity to this judgment to remove the stigma attached to homosexuality.

Justice Chandrachud said to deny the LGBTIQ community their right to sexual orientation is a denial of their citizenship and a violation of their privacy.

“They cannot be pushed into obscurity by an oppressive colonial legislation… Sexual minorities in India have lived in fear, hiding as second class citizens,” said Justice Chandrachud, adding “the state has no business to intrude on such matters”.

Justice Indu Malhotra said that history owes an apology to the LGBTIQ community for all that they have suffered on account of the ignorance of the majority about homosexuality.

“LGBTIQ people have a right to live unshackled from the shadow,” she said.

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The Supreme Court verdict, which overruled its own earlier judgment, assumes significance as in the earlier round of litigation in 2013, the top court had reversed a Delhi High Court ruling decriminalising homosexuality.

The Delhi High Court bench, headed by then Chief Justice A.P. Shah, had in July 2009 legalised homosexual acts between consenting adults by overturning the 149-year-old law — finding it unconstitutional and a hurdle in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

In December 2013, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya in the Suresh Kumar Koushal and another vs Naz Foundation and others case, had set aside the high court’s judgment and said that it was for the legislature to look into desirability of deleting section 377 of IPC.

The matter was subsequently resurrected in July 2016, when a fresh petition was filed by members of the LGBTIQ community — dancer N.S. Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hotelier Aman Nath and business executive Ayesha Kapur — which was then marked to the Constitution Bench by a Division Bench.

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The reference was made on the basis of submission that it was the first time that individuals directly affected by the provision were approaching the court.

Among the petitioners are a batch of current and former students of Indian Institutes of Technology. Claiming to represent more than 350 LGBTIQ alumni, students, staff and faculty from the IITs, the petitioners said that the existence of Section 377 had caused them “mental trauma and illnesses, such as clinical depression and anxiety and relegated some of them to second-class citizenship”. (IANS)