The Supreme Court on Friday directed national broadcaster Doordarshan to put together a programme on the ‘evil impact’ of online game Blue Whale Challenge and air it on prime time. It also directed other TV channels to telecast the programme.
The Blue Whale Challenge is supposedly a suicide game where the participant has to complete a task every day, for a period of 50 days, the final task of which is committing suicide. A number of teen suicides across India has been attributed to the ‘deadly’ game.
We look back on the rulings passed by different courts on the Blue Whale game:
The Delhi High Court issued notice to social websites
On September 1, the Delhi High Court issued notices to Facebook India, Google India, Yahoo India and the state while directing the websites to file a status report stating the steps taken to stop the game. Later, on September 19, the high court asked the Centre to put forth the steps taken to comply with the orders passed by the Madras High Court to ban the game.
The Madras High Court ordered strict action against people sharing the game, sought help from IIT
After consulting with IIT Madras on removal of Blue Whale links, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on September 4 directed the Tamil Nadu Police to take strict action against people sharing the game. The court also sought reply from the Centre and the state.
Later, while hearing a suo moto PIL petition, the court directed the Centre to make use of the diplomatic relations it has with Russia, where the game is said to have originated, to block the URLs and links to the game.
The Supreme Court sets up a panel to block the game, ordered no High Court can hear similar pleas
On September 11, the apex court heard the plea of a 73-year-old man who sought ban on the Blue Whale game. On hearing the matter, the court asked the government to set up a panel to block the internet game on October 14. The court also sought a reply from the Centre on similar internet games, like Choking game, Salt and Ice Challenge, Fire Challenge, Cutting challenge, Eyeball challenge and Human Embroidery game. The bench restrained all other high courts from hearing any plea on the Blue Whale game.
The Bombay High Court refused to hear the plea
Following the directions of the Supreme Court, the Bombay High Court refused to hear a PIL on the same issue. The division bench stated, “Apex court said since it was a “pan-India” issue, it did not need a parallel hearing”.