Judicial Reforms

Panel looking into anthem protocol checks rules in other nations

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Mains Paper 2: Polity | Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Prevention of Insult of National Honour Act, 1971

Mains level: Provisions related to symbols of national importance

Inter-ministerial committee for examining rules on playing national anthem in public places

  1. An inter-ministerial committee has been formed to look into statutory requirements on playing of national anthem in cinema halls and public places
  2. The Supreme Court had set a deadline of six months for the committee to come up with the detailed guidelines

Committee suggestions

  1. It came up with a suggestion to examine protocols followed by other countries
  2. Members of the committee said that suggestions should be invited from schools and educational institutions and other stakeholders before finalizing the guidelines
  3. The panel will also take up incidents related to violence over playing of national anthem or hoisting of the flag before recommending any penal amendments

International protocols

  1. Russia has stringent provisions to punish anyone insulting the national anthem
  2. It is customary in Australia to stand up whenever the anthem is played at a ceremony or public event
  3. In the US, there are legal codes that apply to flag etiquette, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the national anthem
  4. There is no precedence to discipline US citizens for failing to stand up for the anthem
  5. In Italy, it is not mandatory to play the national anthem in schools or other public places
  6. But citizens are required to stand and show respect to the anthem

Provision in India

  1. Under the Prevention of Insult of National Honour Act, 1971, an Indian may be imprisoned for up to three years for trying to disrupt or prevent singing of the national anthem


Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act of 1971

  1. The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 is an Act of the Parliament of India which prohibits desecration of or insults to the country’s national symbols, including
  • The National Flag,
  • The Constitution,
  • Indian map and
  • The National Anthem

2. Significant amendments were added in 2003 and 2005, which prohibited many previously common uses of the flag, such as draping it over a podium during a speech, using it as decoration, or incorporating it into clothing designs

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