Cuttack: The Orissa High Court today admitted a public interest litigation (PIL) concerning the lethal ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ online game.
The High Court division bench comprising of Chief Justice Vineet Saran and Dr. Justice B R Sarangi while admitting the PIL filed by a lawyer Shiva Shankar Mohanty, served notices to the Secretaries of Union IT Ministry, State IT department and State Home Department; DG Police, Special DG Crime Branch and Twin City Police Commissioner, court sources said.
The State’s apex court while fixing the next date of hearing on the matter for September 18, has sought replies from the respondents on what steps have been taken to contain the lethal ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ online game.
The High Court has asked Union IT department to enlighten on the extent of implementation of the advisory concerning ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ online game issued by the Central government on August 11, this year, in the next hearing scheduled for September 18.
Similarly, the High Court has directed the Crime Branch to furnish details of its investigations with regard to the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ online game in its reply.
The petitioner has cited that several youths in the country as well as in the State are losing their precious lives after being attracted to play the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ online game. The petitioner has alleged that despite a few lives having been lost to the lethal game, the government is yet to take concrete steps to contain it.
The petitioner has alleged that despite a few lives having been lost to the lethal game, the government is yet to take concrete steps to contain it.
The petition points out that the Union IT department has the rights to issue directives to block/close such online websites and game sites under section 69 (a) of the IT Act and can even punish violators.
The government can direct Google, Yahoo, Instagram, Facebook and other websites to block links on ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ online game. Internet users access to websites providing links to games like ‘Blue Whale Challenge’, ‘Silent House’, ‘Wake Me Up at 4.20 am’ etc can blocked, the petition said.
The petitioner has said that if the government takes appropriate action using the provisions of the law several precious lives can be saved.
He has lamented that despite a notice by the Union IT department on Aughust 11 for deletion of links of the lethal online game, it is yet to bear fruits.
The petitioner has pointed out that the government instead of creating awareness among the people, should rather give more attention to block/prevent access to such websites.
It’s worth mentioning here that many youths and school kids in the State have fallen prey to ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ online game which ultimately leads the player to commit suicide.
The State police and the provincial government have issued advisories on the online game.