August 13, 2020

PUBG game ban case: Islamabad High Court reserves the decision

Islamabad, 14th July: Islamabad High Court, hearing the case against the ban on PUBG game, has reserved the decision.

Hearing the case against the ban on PUBG game, Justice Amer Farooq commented that the Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) should have taken advice from a mental health expert before banning the game. It’s important to mention here that PTA had blocked the access to PUBG game on the “complaints from parents” and the hypothesis that the game is impacting the mental health of its players negatively.

Upon inquiry from Justice Amer Farooq about the exact sections of PECA under which the game was banned, the PTA lawyer said that the game was banned due to religious and ethical sensitivities. Justice Amer Farooq responding to the statement further inquired about whether the issue regarding religious sensitives was noted down in the meeting minutes. He also inquired if the complaints against PUBG game were based on religious sensitivities.

Justice Farooq noted that it has become a practice to ‘put everything in that category’ (to justify the ban).

The legal team representing PUBG game said that they participated in the hearing hosted by PTA on 9th July but it was more of a ‘consultative meeting’ than a hearing.

PTA’s lawyer defending the regulator’s stance cited the public complaints and said that PTA was in a position where they had to ban the game. Justice Amer Farooq noted that the decision for content regulation on the Internet should be based on the law and not to cater to any particular situation.

Islamabad High Court has reserved the decision in this case.

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