PIL in Delhi HC cites deaths of children in India and abroad while seeking immediate directions to restrain internet majors from uploading any material pertaining to the Blue Whale Challenge. Petition to be heard on Thursday also asks for setting up a 5-member special team of Delhi Police to oversee whether internet companies comply with the court’s direction
The rising number of suicides being attributed to the controversial Russian game – Blue Whale Challenge – evoked concern from Chief Justice of India, JS Khehar, on Wednesday, even as the Delhi High Court allowed to hear a public interest litigation that seeks removal of the game’s links from all internet search engines.
The PIL comes close on the heels of an order by the Union ministry IT and Electronics which directs all internet search engines other social media platforms – Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo – to immediately remove the links of the Blue Whale Challenge. The petition also seeks a special team of the Delhi Poilce to be assigned with the task of overseeing that internet platforms comply with the order.
While in the Delhi High Court, the PIL came before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shanker and was listed for hearing on Thursday, Chief Justice of India, JS Khehar, while hearing an unrelated matter in the Supreme Court expressed concern over the game saying: “We heard about the Blue Whale (Challenge) – that it can lead to anything”.
On Monday, Union minister for women and child development, Maneka Gandhi, had taken to micro-blogging site Twitter to urge parents “to monitor the activities of children and dissuade them from falling prey to” the game.
Gandhi’s series of tweets regarding the Blue Whale Challenge are reproduced below:
According to a report by news agency PTI: “More than six children across India in the age group of 12 to 19 years have taken their lives playing the Blue Whale Challenge within a span of two weeks”.
Teenaged boys in Solapur and Indore were stopped last week from risking their lives with the game, which presents players with a list of formidable tasks to be completed in 50 days and seeks photographic proof; the final assignment is suicide.