Supreme Court to hear on April 15 plea challenging HC order to ban TikTok app

The apex court on April 8 refused urgent listing of the plea.

Updated - April 09, 2019 07:19 pm IST

Published - April 09, 2019 04:45 pm IST - New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear on April 15 a plea challenging a Madras High Court order that directed the Centre to ban the “TikTok” app over concerns about access to pornographic content through it.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna agreed to hear the plea filed by Chinese company ByteDance, which said there were over billion downloads of its app and the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had passed an ex-parte order.

The apex court on April 8 refused urgent listing of the plea.

The High Court on April 3 directed the Centre to ban mobile application “TikTok” as it voiced concern over the “pornographic and inappropriate content” being made available through such apps.

It had directed the media not to telecast video clips made with TikTok. The app allows the users to create short videos and then share them.

It had asked the government if it would enact a statute on the line of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act in the U.S. and posted the matter for further hearing on April 16.

The High Court’s interim order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) which alleged that the app encouraged paedophiles and the content “degraded culture and encouraged pornography”.

Even after the havoc caused by Blue whale online game, which reportedly led to suicides by several people, officials have not learnt that they should be alert to these types of problems, the High Court said.

Only when the officials and policy makers were able to act on the problems of society, decision could be taken to prevent these kind of apps, it had said.

Voicing concern, the court had said that it was evident from media reports that pornography and inappropriate content were made available through such mobile applications.

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