New Delhi: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Telangana High Court seeking the ban of the popular addictive mobile game BattleGrounds Mobile India (BGMI).
This game was released in India on July 2, 2021 as the relaunched version of PUBG mobile that was banned by the Centre on September 2, 2020.
This case is set to go to trial in mid-March.
Anil Stevenson Jangam, an advocate based in Hyderabad, filed the petition where he said the BGMI is a “merely a different avatar of the banned PUBG mobile video game as it is likely to gravely affect the mental health and even lives of youngsters”.
The petition further added that the game “is a threat to the privacy of the citizens of India ” and also poses “national security issues”.
“BGMI and the banned application PUBG Mobile are one and the same game with only cosmetic changes. The new application BattleGrounds Mobile India is fraught with all the dangers its banned earlier version posed to our children and adolescents. Therefore, the new version also deserves to be banned.
“Chinese Company Tencent Holdings and the Respondent No.3 (Krafton) have employed a circuitous means of re-entering India, by an elaborate process of Front companies, and have sought to hoodwink the Indian Authorities, which is detrimental to the interest of India and its citizens,” says the PIL.
This controversial game has a history of PILs as well as multiple cases.
In 2019, an 11-year-boy from Mumbai filed a PIL against PUBG through his mother, saying the game promotes violence, aggression and cyber-bullying.
In January 2020, a Chandigarh advocate H.C. Arora sought a ban on PUBG claiming that the game is addictive and normalises violence while affecting their mental and physical health.
He even compared the game to drugs.
Even before the nationwide ban in 2020, PUBG was banned in several cities of Gujarat by authorities and the Goa IT Minister had called for the game to be restricted.
Just before the current version of BGMI was launched, Arunachal Pradesh MLA Ninong Ering had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking the government to stop the company from launching the new game as the game is an effort to “sidestep” Indian laws and “deceive the government and Indian citizens”.