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Breaking: Madras HC order calling for ban on Tik Tok challenged in Supreme Court

Breaking: Madras HC order calling for ban on Tik Tok challenged in Supreme Court

Murali Krishnan

The interim order passed by Madras High Court calling for a ban on mobile application Tik Tok has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

The matter was mentioned today by Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who sought urgent listing of the case stating,

“An ex-parte interim order was passed against me”, he said.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said he will look into it.

A Bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and SS Sundar had passed an interim order last week, issuing the following directions:

  • The Government is directed to prohibit downloading of Tik Tok Mobile App.
  • The Media is prohibited from telecasting the videos made using Tik Tok Mobile App.
  • The Government has to answer whether the Union of India will enact a statute, like the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, enacted by the United States, to prevent the children becoming cyber/online victims.

The High Court passed the order after expressing concern that the app hosts inappropriate content, including pornography, which is available for access to children. The Bench has also expressed its consternation that minors are also exposed to strangers online through TikTok.

Majority of the teens are playing pranks, gaffing around with duet videos sharing with split screen to the strangers. The children who use the said application are vulnerable and may expose them to sexual predator ….Without understanding the dangers involved in these kinds of Mobile Apps., it is unfortunate that our children are testing with these Apps.

The order has now been challenged in the Supreme Court on the ground that it violates the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a).

The petitioner has submitted that the order is arbitrary and contrary to the judgment of the Supreme Court in Shreya Singhal as well as other decisions under the IT Act.

The petitioner has further contended that the order disregards the protection provided to intermediaries under the IT Act and Intermediary guidelines.