The Supreme Court on Friday directed national broadcaster Doordarshan to bring out a 10-minute show on the perils of the Blue Whale online game that has led to numerous suicides among teens.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud, observing that such online games posed danger to life and must be “contained”, asked Doordarshan to come out with the programme within a week and ensure it is shown by the public broadcaster and private channels on prime time.
The apex court said the visual medium is most effective and asked Doordarshan to prepare a programme in consultation with the Ministries of Women and Child Development and the Human Resource Development to educate children about the evils of Blue Whale game so that they don’t get drawn to playing it.
The Blue Whale Challenge, reportedly created by a former convict in Russia, is said to psychologically provoke players to indulge in daring, self-destructive tasks for 50 days before finally taking the “winning” step of killing themselves.
Asking the Centre to take steps to ensure that no such deaths occur, the bench said lonely and depressed children are usually attracted towards such dangerous games. ALSO READ: Blue Whale Challenge: Bengal teenager hospitalized after allegedly cutting her hand
Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that around 28 cases relating to such games have been reported so far in the country and the agencies are probing them, and sought three weeks time to file a response.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has set up a committee to deal with the issue, and information was being sought from various service providers and steps would be taken to ensure that such incidents do not recur, he added.
Granting three weeks to the Centre to file a detailed affidavit on the steps taken by the concerned ministries, the court posted the matter for further hearing on November 20.
The apex court was hearing a PIL seeking a ban on the online game and also sought direction that awareness should be created about the fatal consequences of the game. ALSO READ: Smartphones are addictive, can be injurious to kids’ mental health: Experts
The petitioner lawyer C R Jaya Sukin said the Blue Whale game is snatching the lives of children and adults, which has already caused huge damage.