The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday said that playing of national anthem inside cinema halls across India is not mandatory, a day after the Centre asked the apex court to reconsider it’s November order.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said this while modifying its November 2016 order by which the apex court had made the playing of national anthem in cinemas mandatory.

Earlier on Monday, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that it had set up an inter-ministerial committee to decide on the issue of playing the national anthem in movie theatres and public places, and frame rules for the same.

Centre had requested a period of six months to come up with the said rules, while asking SC to reconsider it’s November 2016 order.

Attorney General KK Venugopal had urged the court to modify its 2016 order substituting “may” with “shall” for the playing of national anthem in cinema halls.

In it’s  November 2016 order, the SC had directed all cinema halls across India to play the national anthem before the beginning of any film and everyone present must “stand up in respect” till its end. The practice was to “in-still patriotism and nationalism” and had sparked a furore.

The court’s order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) by Shayam Narayan Chouksey seeking framing of guidelines on the playing of the national anthem.

(with agency inputs)