A PIL has been filed before the Bombay High Court by an 11-year-old boy from Mumbai, Ahad Nizam. The petitioner's mother is appearing 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 cyber bullying, thus should be banned.
The PIL is likely to be mentioned 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 content. In fact, PUBG was banned in China for the same reasons as above by an Online Ethics Review Committee there, the PIL states.
PUBG is also one of the most popular online games in the world as almost 400 million players play the game worldwide. The game itself has been described in the petition. The description states:
"PUBG the online game has up to one hundred 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 learning from media reports that PUBG was banned by the states of Gujarat and Karnataka lately, petitioner's mother Mariam Nizam, who is also an advocate, wrote to the State Education Minister and the Chief Minister seeking some action.
Thereafter, the PIL refers to the reports of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while interacting 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 drew a huge reaction from the crowd and the video went viral. However, the PIL states that it further raised concerns amongst parents about such online games.
After highlighting the concerns of parents, the PIL cited a World Health Organization (WHO) report about 'gaming disorder' and how it has an adverse impact on the child.
The PIL seeks directions to the State Education Department to ban PUBG in schools forthwith. Also, directions are sought to the Ministry of Electronics and IT, Government of India to form an Online Ethics Review Committee to monitor such content from time to time.
Read the Petition here