High Court Directs Indian Government To Review PUBG Mobile For Objectionable Content
On April 14, the Bombay High Court directed the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEIT) to test out the features of wildly popular mobile game PUBG and take necessary action in regard to the objectionable content in the game. The PIL (Public Interest Litigation) was represented by the father of the 11-year old boy from Mumbai, Ahad Nizam, who previously alleged that the game has elements that promote aggression, violence and immoral conduct in daily life. The PIL suggests that the game should be banned in schools for the same reason.
In response to the litigation, Government pleader Poornima Kantharia stated that most schools do not permit usage of mobile phones and the game itself. Furthermore, a division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice NM Jamdar raised a notable question against the petition, stating that parents should keep the addiction of their children to PUBG in check. Moreover, parents should stop their children from playing PUBG Mobile if the game legitimately contains objectionable content.
As the player count of PUBG Mobile increases day-by-day, the PIL is seeking to get the game completely banned from schools. The PIL is also seeking directions to the MEIT to put together an Online Ethics Review Committee to regulate all online content that may considered as “unsafe”. Consequently, the Bench directed the Secretary of the Information & Technology Ministry to test the game in its entirety and take required action against concerned authorities and service providers in case the content does not comply. The court has adjourned the case for now and will continue the hearing after the vacations.
A lot of cases have been spotted nation-wide when indiscretion regarding the game has led to fatal consequences. Previously, 2 students were mauled by a train while they were engrossed in the Battle Royale game. In another incident, a 25-year old mistook acid for water while playing PUBG and had a narrow escape in the hospital. The game was banned in Gujarat recently, and the Police arrested students multiple times for playing the game in public. Clearly, PUBG Mobile is intended to be played by children over 16 years of age, as is mentioned on all the application stores. However, insufficient discretion is maintained regarding the same.