‘Check if PUBG has objectionable traits’: Bombay High Court to Centre

The Bombay high court (HC) on Friday directed the Centre to observe if there were any objectionable aspects to the PUBG game and initiate suitable action under the Information Technology (IT) Act if required. The court rapped the petitioner stating that parents should also be responsible for what their children do with phones, rather than expecting the government to monitor the same.

A division bench of chief justice Pradeep Nandrajog and N M Jamdar was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by 11-year-old Ahad Nizam through his mother Mariam Nizam, seeking a ban on the game in schools and directions to the government to take measures to curb its usage among youngsters. The petitioner’s counsel and his father, Tanzeer Nizam, told the court that although it was a known fact that PUBG “exposed young, impressionable minds to expletives and violence, no steps were being taken by the government to curb it”. However, government pleader Poornima Kantharia said no schools allowed the game, but if the children were still found playing it at home, parents should take cognisance of the same. Kantharia stated the onus of controlling the usage of phones by minors cannot be put on the government.

When Nandrajog asked the petitioners what aspects of the game were objectionable, Nizam replied there was usage of expletives, which could not be mentioned in court. Thereafter, Nandrajog said, “Parents should also be responsible for how their children use mobile phones. We, as parents, buy them smartphones, but we also need to see how they use it.” The petition has been posted for hearing in July.

Meanwhile, a group of law students from Nagpur sought dismissal of the petition through advocate Akhil Gurwada, stating that the contentions of the PIL were not entirely accurate as PUBG had its benefits too. Pointing to the e-gaming business, Gurwada said if PUBG was banned, Indian gamers would lose an opportunity to participate in gaming competitions, which was an infringement of their Constitutional rights.

First Published:
Apr 13, 2019 03:12 IST

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