Madras High Court initiates suo motu proceedings to curb online games

Students are getting addicted to online games and this leads to conflicts at home, the court said

October 13, 2022 01:52 pm | Updated October 14, 2022 12:13 am IST - MADURAI

Image for representational purposes only.

Image for representational purposes only. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Taking note of youth getting addicted to explicit, violent online games, leading to serious health issues, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday initiated suo motu proceedings to curb the menace of such games.

A Division Bench of Justices R. Mahadevan and J. Sathya Narayana Prasad sought the response of the Central and the State governments, and from Google and YouTube.

The court observed that the Centre had banned some Chinese online applications and games due to security reasons in 2020. However, the games were very much available and easily accessible.

School and college students are getting addicted to such games and this leads to conflicts at home with siblings and parents. Some children go to the extent of stealing money from their parents in order to upgrade the game and some of them have also died by suicide due to addiction for such games, the court observed.

There was no regulatory authority for calls and messages sent through such online games. Anti-social elements could easily get connected through such games, access the private accounts of a person, steal personal data and threaten the person, the court said.

“The future of our nation is in the hands of the younger generation. They are the backbone for the development of our country in all fields, for which, they should be fit physically, psychologically, economically and socially. But, by virtue of wasting their precious teenage by playing such online games, watching filth, chit chatting and sticking to social media, they are deviating from the productive means like, academics and healthy hobbies, thereby, they put their future at stake,, consequently the development of our country is affected at large” the judges observed adding that there was an emergent need to curb the menace of these types of online games.

The Centre and the State must come forward with a clear cut report on how such online games are permitted despite the ban imposed by the government, the court said and sought response with regard to regulating the usage of VPN application and regulating YouTube channels. Videos on how to install pirated applications and banned games were being uploaded, the court observed.

The court also sought response from the Central government with regard to taking steps for effective implementation of banning of games and to create awareness programmes in all schools and colleges regarding the impact of playing such violent online games. The court adjourned the hearing in the case till October 27.

(Assistance for those having suicidal thoughts is available on TN’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050).

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