The court also ordered that the National Flag be displayed before the start of a movie while also making it clear that an abridged version of the National Anthem should not be played.
The court also said that all should stand up when the National Anthem is being played. "You are India first," the SC observed while delivering the verdict.
The issue relating to the National Anthem and the National Flag have been dealt with several times by the Supreme Court. There is also a Home Ministry order of 2004 on the same issue.
Controversies have surrounded this issue several times. Recently a video clip of a family being being forced out of a cinema hall for refusing to stand up for the National Anthem did the rounds.
There was another case reported from Kerala where three students refused to sing the National Anthem stating their sect did not permit them to do so.
What the law on National Anthem says?
The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 prescribes imprisonment up to three years or fine or both only for those who intentionally prevent singing of the national anthem or cause disturbance to any assembly engaged in singing the anthem.
A Union Home Ministry directive states that people should stand in attention when the anthem is being sung or played. But it grants exemption from standing if the anthem was played as part of a newsreel, documentary or film.
The directive further states that when in the course of a newsreel or documentary, the anthem is played as a part of the film, it is not expected of the audience to stand as standing is bound to interrupt the exhibition of the film and would create disorder and confusion rather than add to the dignity of the anthem.
The Supreme Court, while hearing a case, had relied on this directive while dealing with the the matter relating to the fiml Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court had directed that the movie be withdrawn from all theatres until scenes depicting the national anthem were removed.