Supreme Court issues an interim order to stop Kathmandu District Court’s ban on PUBG

- NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu

Apr 20, 2019-

The Supreme Court on Friday overturned the Kathmandu District Court’s decision to impose a ban on PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, a popular multiplayer internet game commonly known as PUBG, by issuing an interim order.

The Kathmandu District Court on April 10 had permitted the ban on PUBG in response to a Public Interest Litigation filed by the Metropolitan Crime Division following multiple complaints from parents, schools and school associations saying that the game was having a negative effect on the behaviour and study of children and youths.

A day after the permission from the Kathmandu District Court, the Nepal Telecommunication Authority on April 11 directed all the internet and mobile service providers to ban PUBG. Police had even said they would arrest anyone found playing the game.

Following the ban, a team of lawyers--advocates Prabin Subedi, Bikash Thapa, Anurag Subedi, Subash Pathak and Ritesh Paudel--along with a law student, Binay Rimal, filed a Public Interest Litigation at the Supreme Court on April 16 demanding removal of the ban on PUBG terming it an unconstitutional move as it restricted citizens’ freedom of expression over the internet.

Responding to the petition, the single bench of Justice Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada issued an interim order saying that PUBG was found to be a common game, played normally for entertainment. “The Supreme Court said that the reason behind banning the game was not fair and reasonable. The court also said that it had violated citizens’ right to freedom of expression enshrined in the constitution,” Subedi told the Post.

“Since the ban would affect the petitioners and the general public and would cause an irreplaceable loss, the interim order has been issued,” reads the order.

The Supreme Court, however, has given a 15-day ultimatum to the defendants to challenge the interim order if they have reasons to argue that it should not have been issued. The petitioners have made the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Metropolitan Crime Division, the Nepal Police headquarters, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, the Nepal Telecommunication Authority and the Kathmandu District Court as defendants.

Published: 20-04-2019 10:16

User's Feedback

Click here for your comments

Comment via Facebook

Don't have facebook account? Use this form to comment