High Court issues notice to State Govt seeking ban on PUBG

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Jammu and Kashmir High Court issued notice to Union as well as State Government in the plea seeking ban to online access to Players Unknown Battle Ground (PUBG) game on Tuesday.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal in the first instance issued notice to Secretary Union Ministry of Communications, Chief Secretary, Government of J&K, Secretary Information Technology & Technical Education Department, Chancellors of University of Jammu and University of Kashmir, Director School Education Kashmir and Director School Education Jammu.

The petitioners submit that since 2017, an online battle royal game by the name Players Unknown Battle Ground (PUBG) has been available in India which is a type of a video game in which a large number of players, starting with minimal equipment, search for weapons and armor and eliminate/knockout all other opponents while avoiding being trapped outside of a shrinking “safe area”, with the winner being the last competitor in the game.

“The game was simultaneously released in the State of Jammu & Kashmir as well and received a tremendous response from the teenagers and other tech savvy youth who instantly made it a routine to spend hours on the online game. The craze went to such an extent that a restaurant upon the theme of PUBG game sprang up in the vicinity of Srinagar city”, reads the PIL.

It is further added that the representatives of student’s community, J&K Students Association have also written a letter to Governor seeking ban on PUBG game because of its ill-effects on the studies of students.

It has further been submitted that the State of Jammu & Kashmir is a militancy affected area and implementation of laws like Disturbed Areas Act and Armed Forces Special Power Act are a testimony to this assertion. In such docile and fragile conditions, the indulgence of youth in such online video games which are based on blood and violence along-with free and mindless use of arms including highly sophisticated armor and artillery creates a wrong precedence and breeds violent thoughts and criminal behavior in young minds.

Direction is sought from the court that that the authorities be directed to ban online access to PUBG game within the territorial jurisdiction of state of Jammu & Kashmir as also to ban online access to PUBG game over routers and other internet access devices installed within the premises of University of Kashmir, University of Jammu, Higher Secondary Schools in Kashmir Division, Higher Secondary Schools in Jammu Division, Higher Secondary Schools in Ladakh Division, High Schools & Primary Schools. “Authorities be directed to form an online ethics review committee tomonitor the entertainment software content from time to time”, reads the PIL.