The High Court yesterday ordered the telecommunications regulator to ban online games PUBG, FreeFire and others for three months that it deemed destructive.
The court said the ruling was aimed at saving children and adolescents from social degradation.
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The court also issued a rule asking relevant government authorities to explain in 10 days why their inaction to ban online games and apps, including TikTok, Likee, Bigo Live, PUBG and FreeFire, should not be declared illegal.
In the rule, the court also asked the authorities to indicate the reasons why they should not be invited to form a technical committee to monitor online games and applications and to make the necessary recommendations for this purpose and why they should not be condemned to formulate a code of conduct or a directive in order to relieve the victims of these harmful games and applications.
Authorities were also asked in the rule to explain why they should not be asked to assess how much money has been spent on these online games and applications and to get those involved in the transactions to book.
HC Judiciary Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Md Kamrul Hossain Mollah issued the order and published the rule following a court petition seeking the necessary guidance, Deputy Attorney General Golam Sarwar Payel told the Daily Star.
On June 24 of this year, Supreme Court attorneys Mohammad Humayun Kabir Pallob and Mohammed Kawsar filed a lawsuit with the HC as a public interest dispute on behalf of the rights organization Law and Life Foundation.
In the petition, they called on the HC to order relevant government authorities to identify those involved in the taka crore transaction and the money laundering behind these apps and games.
The petitioners also urged the HC to form a committee with technologists, educators and lawyers to make recommendations to the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission to stop games and apps harmful to the younger generation.
The petitioners said young people have become addicted to online games and applications such as TikTok, Likee, Bigo Live, PUBG and FreeFire, and as a result social values, education and culture are compromised.
By using these online games and apps, young people are involved in violence and unethical activities and that is why these games and apps must be banned as a matter of urgency, the petitioners said.