The Supreme Court on Tuesday exempted six categories of disabled people from standing when the national anthem is played before the screening of a film in theatres. The court has asked the Centre to look into the case of other categories.
The categories that have been exempted from standing during the national anthem include those suffering from cerebral palsy, Parkinson disease, muscular dystrophy and other categories of disability. The Centre has four weeks to revert. The next date of hearing is on August 23.
In January, the Narendra Modi government had released a list of guidelines for the disabled and differently-abled persons. The government had taken the decision in an attempt to assuage their fears and reduce instances of disrespect shown to national anthem.
On November 30 last year, the apex court had made it compulsory for cinema halls across India to play national anthem before the movie begins along with an image of the national flag on the screen. The court also stated that everyone present in the cinema hall must stand up and pay their respects to the national anthem.
"When the national anthem is played it is imperative for everyone to show honour and respect it. It would instil a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism," the court had said.
Meanwhile, the SC also issued a notice to the Centre on Tuesday over a plea that sought to make the singing of 'Vande Mataram' essential in all educational institutions. The court has asked the Central government to respond to the plea within four weeks. The next hearing on the matter will be held on August 23.