April 09, 2019

A New Minute in the ‘TIK TOK’ Legal Struggle

 

It seems that TikTok, a Chinese mobile app for creating and sharing short videos, would have to pay the price of its own popularity.

Few days back the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court, comprising of Justices N Kirubakaran and SS Sundar, issued an interim direction to the central government, to prohibit downloading of the TikToc application. The order also sought to prohibit media from airing TikTok videos. It was said in the order that the app was ‘encouraging pornography’ and was fueling ‘cyber crime’.

The order stressed on the fact that this is a 'dangerous issue'. It was held that 'the dangerous aspect is that inappropriate contents including language and pornography being posted in the TikTok App. There is a possibility of children contacting strangers directly and luring them. Without understanding the dangers involved in these kinds of Mobile Apps, it is unfortunate that are our children are testing with these Apps.'

This interim order of the Madras High Court was challenged before the Apex Court today. Bytedance (India) Technology Pvt. Ltd., the owner of TikTok, filed a special leave petition against the Madurai bench order directing the Government to ban the application.

The matter came up before the Chief Justice of India Rajan Gogoi. The Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, counsel for Bytedance (India) Technology Pvt. Ltd., prayed urgent hearing of the matter. However, the court refused urgent listing of a plea and stated that the matter will be taken up in due course.

The storm nowhere seems to subside for TikTok. In February, this year there was an announcement by Tamil Nadu information technology minister M Manikandan that the state government would request the Centre to ban TikTok.[1] On April 5, 2019 Madras High Court passed the above interim order. And now the third blow came after the Apex Court refused an urgent hearingof the PIL against the ban.

Watch out this space for more updates on the same.

 

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[1] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/well-seek-ban-on-tiktok-app-for-degrading-culture-minister/articleshow/67968418.cms 

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