Hearing a petition filed by an 11-year-old boy against mobile game PUBG, the Bombay High Court on Friday asked the Union of India to ask the secretary of information and technology ministry to view the game and decide whether the service provider should issue guidelines regarding its use.
A bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice N M Jamdar was hearing public interest litigation seeking direction that the game be prohibited from being played in schools.
The petitioner is being represented in the court by his father, advocate Tanveer Nizam. He informed the court that the game is quite addictive and that it promotes violence, aggression and cyber-bullying. He added that the game is banned in states like Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat. Government pleader Poornima Kantharia told the court that while the petition has stated that the game should be banned in schools, however, no teachers allow students to play games on their mobile phones or computers in schools.
Chief Justice Nandrajog asked the petitioner, “How can the school ban the game? The school will say that it does not allow playing games anyways.”
The bench directed that the “counsel of the Union of India would obtain instructions from the concerned department” and adjourned the matter till July 25.
The online game was released in 2017 and has been available in India as Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), developed by PUBG Corporation multiplayer Battle Royale. In the game, up to 100 players parachute onto an island and look for weapons and equipment to kill others while avoiding getting killed themselves.