Google India and Facebook India have informed the Delhi High Court — in the matter pertaining to a PIL seeking a ban on the Blue Whale challenge — that they are not necessary parties in the case. The Delhi Police, meanwhile, filed a status report in the case before the court.
While Google India said Google Inc should instead be impleaded, Facebook India said that services for users outside the US and Canada were provided by Facebook Ireland.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Gurmeet Singh seeking immediate directions to restrain internet firms from uploading any material pertaining to the Blue Whale challenge, citing cases of suicide by children in India and abroad.
Moreover, noting that the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court had, on September 4, issued directions to the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government to explore the possibility of banning the game, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar directed the Centre to file an affidavit by October 12 detailing the steps taken to restrict access to the game.
The Delhi Police, in the status report submitted before the High Court, however, stated that no such case of suicide committed as part of the Blue Whale challenge has been reported from the capital.
The report also mentioned that they have found no evidence to link the death of a 19-year-old man — in Hauz Khas Village after his fall from an eatery terrace — to the Blue Whale challenge. In its report, the police also said it has issued an advisory on Twitter for parents and guardians detailing steps they can take to keep their children out of harm’s way.
Since many teenagers were inquiring about the game through hashtags, which was making them prone to become targets, police had directed social media service providers to remove any content pertaining to the game. The report said police had also asked them to identify any groups which violated the guidelines. The report also underlined that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had, on August 14, issued directions to social networking sites, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Twitter, to immediately remove the links to the game and report the proponent of the game to law enforcement agencies.