Delhi High Court to Centre: Decide representation for regulation of online games

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A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on Wednesday directed the central government to decide a representation made to it putting together a policy to protect children from online gaming addiction and to constitute a regulatory body that monitors online and offline gaming content.

The Delhi High Court said that the concerned authority should take a call on the representation by adhering, to laws, rules, regulations, and government policies as applicable to the matter, reported Live Law.

This development is the result of a PIL filed by NGO Distress Management collective through Adv. Robin Raju and Deepa Joseph. 

“Youngsters are suffering from addiction. These games are so intense that it’s leading to suicide, criminal inclinations. Thus, we need to take this issue seriously. The Government does not have any policy to tackle the situation. I urge that a Regulatory Body be constituted,” Raju urged before the Division Bench.

Adding further, he said, “These games are also a source of cyberbullying, sexual and financial harassment.”

His arguments drew from certain observations of the Madras High Court, which recently expressed its concerns with regard to the addiction to technology via online gaming.

Nations like China, he informed the Bench, had recently issued stringent directions to regulate online gaming. “Many violent games are affecting the psyche of children. Parents are also unable to control their children; because of online classes they have to give the phone/ gadgets to the children,” he argued.

The Bench asked Raju whether a representation was made to the concerned authority. When told that they submitted a representation of July 10, 2022, the Bench remarked, “You’ve not waited for even one month and immediately rushed to the Court?”

The Court went on to dispose of the matter, directing the concerned authorities to decide the representation.