By LE Staff
Chennai, July 1, 2021: The Madras High Court has declined a PIL seeking a ban on online games on the ground that they are addictive to children and young adults.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy disposed of the PIL, opining that since it is a matter of policy the initiative should be taken by the government and only the government should be approached.
The Bench, however, accepted that intervention is warranted in case of illegal action or something which is detrimental to larger public interest. At the same time, the Bench said when elected governments are in place, matters of policy should be left to the wisdom of those representing the people.
“There is no doubt that children and young adults these days are addicted to their phones and their worlds appear to revolve around their mobile phones. Oftentimes a family could be together and sitting at a table but each member using the phone even to describe the dish that they may be having or the quality of the food at the moment,” the Court observed.
The Bench, thus, permitted the petitioner to make a representation on the issue to both the Union government and the State and asked the authorities to give their considered response within eight weeks of receipt of the petitioner’s representation.
The petition basically raised concerns of addiction of children to online games during the pandemic when schools remained shut. It was contended that such addiction could have devastating effects, including anger and suicidal tendencies.