Supreme Court of India has agreed to hear a plea challenging a Madras High Court order that directed the government to ban the TikTok app for "encouraging pornography." The Supreme Court will hear the plea next week, on April 15.
A bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna and Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi agreed to hear the plea filed China's ByteDance, which said TikTok has over a billion downloads and the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court had passed an ex-parte order.
On Monday, the apex court had refused urgent hearing of the plea.
Last week, the Madras High Court directed the centre to impose a nationwide ban on TikTok as the court raised concern over the "pornographic and inappropriate content" being made available through such apps.
The order came weeks after Tamil Nadu IT minister M Manikandan said that the state will seek the centre’s help to impose a ban on the video-sharing platform that reportedly misleads children and youth.
It had also directed the media not to telecast video clips made with TikTok. Owned and operated by China's ByteDance, TiKTok allows users to create short videos and then share those videos with their friends and followers on social media.
Earlier, TikTok agreed to pay $5.7 million fine to the Federal Trade Commission in a settlement over allegations of violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
The court had asked the government if it would enact a statute on the line of the COPPA in the US and posted the matter for further hearing on April 16.
The Madras HC came following Public interest litigation( PIL) alleging that the TikTok encouraged paedophiles and the contents were very disturbing.
In spite of the havoc caused by Blue whale online game, which reportedly led to multiple suicides, officials have not learnt that they should be alert to these types of problems, the high court said.
Only when the officials and policymakers were able to act on the problems of society, the decision could be taken to block these kinds of apps, the court had said.
TikTok is already banned in countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh.
(WIth PTI inputs)