A PIL has been registered before the Bombay High Court by an 11-year-old boy from Mumbai, Ahad Nizam. The petitioner’s mother is arriving on his behalf and the PIL states that the popular online game PUBG promotes immoral conduct such as violence, murder, aggression, looting, gaming addiction and cyberbullying, thus should be forbidden.
The PIL is likely to be introduced before the bench headed by Chief Justice NH Patil today.
According to the PIL, India does not have an Online Ethics Reviews Committee to check such volatile and violence-oriented games. In fact, PUBG was forbidden in China for the same speculations as above by an Online Ethics Review Committee there, the PIL states.
PUBG is also one of the most widespread online games in the world as almost 400 million players play the game worldwide. The game itself has been specified in the petition. The description states:
“PUBG the online game has up to 100 players parachute onto an island and scavenge for weapons and equipment to kill others while avoiding getting killed themselves. The available safe area of the game’s map decreases in size over time, directing surviving players into tighter areas to force encounters. The last player or team standing wins the round.”
After acquiring from media reports that PUBG was banned by the states of Gujarat and Karnataka recently, petitioner’s mother Mariam Nizam, who is also an advocate, wrote to the State Education Minister and the Chief Minister asking some action.
Consequently, the PIL refers to the reports of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while communicating with students and parents, having come across a mother concerned about her son’s addiction to online games. This is when PM Modi asked “Ye PUBG wala hai kya?” This brought a huge reaction from the crowd and the video went viral. Nonetheless, the PIL states that it further raised concerns amongst parents about such online games.
After highlighting the interests of parents, the PIL cited a World Health Organization (WHO) report about ‘gaming disorder’ and how it has an unfavorable impact on the child.
The PIL seeks administrations to the State Education Department to ban PUBG in schools forthwith. Additionally, directions are sought to the Ministry of Electronics and IT, Government of India to develop an Online Ethics Review Committee to control such content from time to time.