CHENNAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court has set aside the order of a single member bench that mandated playing and singing of ‘Vande Mataram’ in schools and private institutions.
On July 25, a single member bench consisting of Justice MV Muralidharan ruled that all schools should play and sing ‘Vande Mataram’ at least once a week and all institutions like factories at least once a month.
The court was actually deciding if the answer of a candidate in the Teachers Recruitment Board was correct that the song was written in Bengali. Holding that the answer given by the petitioner was correct, the judge ordered one mark extra and hence he get qualified with the necessary cut off mark for the recruitment.
But the Teachers Recruitment Board appealed against the order and when the matter came before a two-member bench consisting of judges Huluvadi G Ramesh and RMT Teekaa Raman, the bench observed that making the song compulsory in schools is a matter of government policy and the courts cannot pass any order on that.
“We leave it to the discretion of the government to take a decision in the matter,” the bench said. The order was passed recently and a copy of the order became available only today.
The bench also observed that since the candidate falls short of the cut-off, even after giving the extra mark for the ‘vande mataram’ question, he cannot be recruited this year by the board.