How does the government allow life-threatening online gambling despite the ban? Madras High Court takes notice of Suo Moto

The Madurai Bench of Madras High has recently taken notice of the rise in online gaming addiction among teenagers. The court was hearing a habeas corpus petition for a missing girl, who later turned out to be addicted to playing an online game called ‘free fire’.

The bench of Judge R Mahadevan and Judge Sathya Narayana Prasad wondered how these online games were allowed despite being banned by the Indian government.

In our opinion, the state as well as the central governments must come up with a clear report on how these types of online games that harm the lives of younger generations are allowed despite the ban imposed by the Indian government. We are therefore of the view that the Constitutional Court has a responsibility to consider the matter in the broader public interest.

The court highlighted the various ways in which online gaming addiction affects the lives of school children, students and women and the lives of those around them.

Besides the games allowing players to interact with strangers on the internet who may use inappropriate language or be potential sexual predators or data thieves, the court added that addiction has also become a major public health concern. and a concern for parents.

Kids who are about to go to school and college students have almost become addicted to online role playing games such as Free Fire, Subway Surfers, etc. and university life. Through such addiction, the younger generation is falling prey to ophthalmic problems, musculoskeletal problems, neck aches, obesity, anxiety and depression..

The court added that those children who were engrossed in online games often lost their sleep and lost what was happening in the real world. Moreover, this sleep deprivation also affected their physical and mental health. Moreover, this addiction led to constant conflicts with their family members and affected the peaceful family atmosphere. In some cases, it even led to marital disputes, as parents ended up blaming each other for giving children access to phones and money to play such games.

The court also added that teenagers, who were the backbone of the country, were wasting their teenage years by playing these games and thus also affected the development of the nation.

The young generation is the backbone of the development of our country in all fields, for which, they must be fit physically, psychologically, economically and socially, but wasting their precious teenagers playing such online games, watching from filth, gossiping and sticking to social media, they deviate from productive means like academics and wholesome hobbies, thus putting their future at stake, therefore the development of our country is affected in its together.

Thus, the court felt that it was necessary to curb this threat and educate young people through counseling. For this, it was important to include the police, social workers and parents.

Thus, the court ordered the Registrar General (Judicial) to register a public interest litigation to regulate the use of VPN applications, to regulate Youtube channels that provided tutorials on installing pirated versions of banned games and to direct the central government to take steps for effective implementation of the gambling ban and create awareness programs on the impact of paying for such violent gambling.

The court made the central government and the Union government parties to the proceedings along with YouTube and Google.

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