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Madras High Court division bench sets aside order making Vande Mataram mandatory in schools and private institutions

A division bench of the Madras High Court has set aside an order of a single judge that mandated playing and singing of Vande Mataram in schools and private institutions.

Published: 10th November 2017 08:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th November 2017 08:16 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court has set aside an order of a single judge that mandated playing and singing of Vande Mataram in schools and private institutions. On July 25, a single judge 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, one K Veeramani, 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 got qualified with the necessary cut off mark for the recruitment.

The court besides giving the petitioner the relief sought by him, also went on to term Vande Mataram a national song and directed all schools to “play and sing” it once a week and all other institutions once a month.

The Teachers Recruitment Board appealed against the order and when the matter came up before a two-member bench consisting of judges Huluvadi G Ramesh and RMT Teekaa Raman, the court observed that making the song compulsory in schools was a matter of government policy and the courts cannot pass any order on that.

“We are of the view that since it is a policy decision to be taken by the State we leave it to the discretion of the government to take decision on the matter,” the bench said in a recent order.

The bench also observed that on the original matter of contention in the case that Vande Mataram was written first in Bengali or Sanskrit, the bench said it considered both the answers to be correct and award the one additional mark to the petitioner Veeramani. But it modified the single bench order and said its up to the Teachers Recruitment Board to decide whether the candidate became eligible for recruitment as per his new marks and decide on his recruitment.

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