The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Madras High Court to decide on April 24 a plea of TikTok app seeking vacating of its ban order. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said if the Madras High Court fails to decide on the plea of TikTok app then its ban order will stand vacated. The apex court had earlier refused to stay the Madras High Court order that directed the Centre to ban the “Tiktok” app over concerns about access to pornographic content through it.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Chinese company ByteDance, had told the top court earlier that there were over billion downloads of the mobile app and ex-parte orders were passed by the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court. He had said the court did not even issue a notice in the matter and an order was passed without hearing them.
The high court had on April 3 directed the Centre to ban mobile application “TikTok” as it voiced concern over “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 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 US 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 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 officials and policy makers were able to act on problems of society, decision could be taken to prevent these kind of apps, it had said. Voicing concern, the court had said it was evident from media reports that pornography and inappropriate content were made available through such mobile applications.