The Madras High Court has asked private schools to make singing the national anthem mandatory in Tamil Nadu. PTI reported that a bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh gave the direction on a petition filed by N Selvathirumal, an ex-serviceman.

In his petition, Selvathirumal had said that while national anthem is sung in government schools as per a central directive, private schools in the state do not always follow the rule. “Private schools must follow such singing of national anthem as part of their curriculum,” the bench said. The court has directed central and state departments of secondary education and the Union Human Resources Ministry to verify if the national anthem was being sung at all private schools everyday.

The Central Board of Secondary Education informed the court that a circular was issued to all schools on November 10, 2015. It stated that one of the 10 principles entailed singing the national anthem with decorum, and the first one said to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the national flag and the national anthem, in compliance of a 2014 verdict passed by the Calcutta High Court. It also told the court that the Board has asked all schools to strictly comply with the order.