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Supreme Court Says Playing National Anthem Before Movie Screenings Not Mandatory



A day after the Central government took a u-turn to state in an affidavit that it was now not in favour of mandatory playing of national anthem before movie screenings, the Supreme Court on Tuesday, January 9, revoked its interim order to this effect.

The bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud passed the order on a plea challenging the dramatization and misuse of the national anthem.

During the course of proceedings, Attorney General KK Venugopal apprised the bench that Central Government has constituted a committee to set up policies to decide the circumstances when the national anthem should be played or sung with decorum.

The bench directed the petitioner, Shyam Narayan Chouksey to approach the committee and passed the following directions while disposing of the plea:

  • The committee shall give final discussion on these issues
  • The interim order passed on November 23, 2016 is modified, playing of national anthem prior to the movie is not mandatory.
  • The citizens and persons who are in India are bound to show respect in all things relating to national pride.
  • These directions are not enforceable to all the disable persons and all those people who use wheel chair.

The apex court had on November 30, 2016 directed that all cinema halls must play national anthem before screening of films saying that “it would instill the feeling within one, a sense committed patriotism and nationalism.”

The direction was given “for love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the National Anthem as well as to the National Flag.”

“A time has come, the citizens of the country must realise that they live in a nation and are duty bound to show respect to National Anthem, which is the symbol of the constitutional patriotism and inherent national quality,” the bench added.

The order came on the PIL filed by a retired engineer from Bhopal, Shyam Narayan Chouksey, who sought norms regarding the playing of the national anthem in public places, including cinema halls, entertainment programmes and during official functions.

The issue gave an excuse for lawless jingoism and there were multiple instances of violence against those who could not or did not stand up when the national anthem was played.

Then, during the hearing on a PIL on October 23 last year, Justice DY Chandrachud, a member of the bench along with CJI Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khnawilkar, had questioned the logic behind the order, wondering, “Why do people have to wear their patriotism on their sleeve?”

In stark opposition to the CJI’s November 2016 order, he had further observed that it cannot be assumed that if a person does not stand up for the national anthem, he is ‘less patriotic’. “People go to a movie theatre for undiluted entertainment. Society needs that entertainment,” he added.

India News

ED raids Punjab Congress leaders Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Sangat Singh Giljian in forest scam linked money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate asserted that during the search operations, various incriminating documents, mobile phones/digital devices have been seized



The Enforcement Directorate recently conducted raids against two former Punjab forest ministers and Congress leaders Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Sangat Singh Giljian and others in relation to an alleged forest-scam linked money laundering investigation.  

Issuing a statement on Friday, the Enforcement Directorate said that its investigation pertains to charges of bribery in the state forest department against the issuance of a permit for tree felling and for transfer and posting in the department, among some other allegations. 

The ED raids were carried out on November 30 in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi at the residential premises of Dharamsot, Giljian, their associates, forest officers and some private individuals. The agency reportedly searched fourteen locations under the provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Congress leader Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, has been a five-time MLA and he was arrested earlier this year by the Punjab Vigilance bureau as part of a case linked to alleged possession of disproportionate assets. In his three-year tenure as forest minister, Dharamsot collected ₹1 crore in lieu of issuance of permits for cutting khair trees through his OSD. Sangat Singh Giljian has been an MLA from the Urmar seat in Hoshiarpur district.

The Enforcement Directorate said that the money laundering case was filed under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and stems from an FIR of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau.

The nodal agency mentioned that the first information report pertains to alleged irregularities in the forest department and allegations of taking bribes by the concerned ministers and officers of the department against the issuance of permits for felling of Khair trees, transfer/posting in the department, issuance of NOC from the department and purchase of tree guards.

In addition, the Enforcement Directorate asserted that during the search operations, various incriminating documents, mobile phones/digital devices have been seized which, prima facie, reveal suspicious transactions involving persons who are under investigation. 

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India News

Jharkhand government puts hospitals on alert amid respiratory infection outbreak in China

The district administration are also asked to assess the availability of oxygen and the supply chain for refilling along with other necessary equipment.



Amid a respiratory infection outbreak in China, the Jharkhand government has put its hospitals on alert, directing them for surveillance, preventive measures and testing of respiratory illness. The additional chief secretary of health Arun Kumar Singh directed the district administrations to remain prepared and keep a continuous vigil on the situation.  

In a letter to the district magistrate, Arun Kumar Singh stated that in view of the recently reported surge in respiratory illness, particularly in children in Northern China, in the recent weeks, there is an urgent need to keep a constant vigil, monitor trends of cases and quickly respond to any emerging public health. He added that considering the ongoing influenza, there might be an increase in respiratory illness cases.

He mentioned that this is predominantly attributed to usual causes like Influenza strain (H1N1/H3N2/H5N1/H9N2 etc.), mycoplasma pneumonia, SARS-CoV-2, etc. He further remarked that in order to reduce the incidence of respiratory diseases along with the current scenario of unusual causes of respiratory diseases in children or any unexpected clinical manifestations, there is a need to increase the surveillance and remain vigilant and to monitor the continuously changing nature of the virus, including respiratory pathogen (H1N1, H3N2 etc) and evolution of SARS CoV-2 variants.

The additional chief secretary of health further directed the officials to strengthen the flu and respiratory clinics in the medical colleges, district hospitals, and health centres. He asserted that the departments of microbiology at RIMS-Ranchi and Mahatma Gandhi Medical College in Jamshedpur have been made sentinel sites for sending the suspected samples.    

Reportedly, the district administrations have also been asked to ascertain that the health facilities, including private hospitals, report all suspected cases. In addition, they were also asked to assess the availability of oxygen and the supply chain for refilling along with other necessary equipment. The district administrations were also asked to ensure mock drills for emergency circumstances, as per the officials.

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India News

Tensions rise at Sagar Dam as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana clash over drinking water

On Thursday when Telangana officials were busy with elections, about 700 Andhra Pradesh Policemen stormed into the project and opened the right canal to release 500 cusecs of Krishna water per hour.



As Telangana was getting ready for election, Andhra Pradesh took control of Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and began releasing water, leading tensions to rise between the two states. On Thursday when Telangana officials were busy with elections, about 700 Andhra Pradesh Policemen stormed into the project and opened the right canal to release 500 cusecs of Krishna water per hour.

Andhra Pradesh state irrigation minister Ambati Rambabu took to X(formerly Twitter) and wrote they are releasing water from Nagarjunasagar right canal on Krishna river for the drinking water purposes. But the minister made a clarification that they had only taken water that they have only taken water that belongs to the state and it is in accordance to the treaty between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Talking to the media Rambabu said they had not flouted any treaty. He said 66% of Krishna water belongs to Andhra Pradesh and 34% to Telangana. He said they had not used a single drop of water that did not belong to them. He said they had tried to open their canal in their territory. He further added this water was rightfully theirs.

As tensions started rising, the central government has stepped in and urged both states to revert to the release of Nagarjuna Sagar waters as of November 28. The proposal was made by the Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla during a video conference with Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Both the states have agreed to the plan.

In order to ensure no further conflict takes place, the dam will be under the supervision of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) which will also oversee that both the states are getting water as per the deal. Telangana Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari had alleged that 500 armed Andhra Pradesh policemen came to Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and released about cusecs of water by opening the head regulators located at gate number 5 and 7. They even damaged the CCTV cameras.

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