After PUBG, now TikTok has run into serious legal trouble in India after Madras High Court asked the central government to ban TikTok for “encouraging pornography.” In what could be bad news for TikTok, the Supreme Court of India has refused to entertain urgent plea hearing on Madras High Court’s ban order.
Last week, the Madurai bench of Madras High Court had directed the Centre to ban TikTok as it raised concern over the "pornographic and inappropriate contents" being made available through such apps.
The court order has come following Public interest litigation( PIL) alleging that the TikTok encouraged paedophiles and the contents were very disturbing.
The order came weeks after Tamil Nadu Information Technology minister M Manikandan said that the state will seek the centre’s help to ban the video-sharing platform that reportedly misleads children and youth.
Of late, TikTok has become a viral sensation in India. The app is owned and operated by China’s Bytedance and it allows users to create and share short video clips with special effects and audio.
Supreme Court has refused urgent hearing of a plea challenging the Madras High Court order directing the Centre to ban TikTok app over concerns about access to pornographic content through it. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said the plea will come up for hearing in due course of time.
Meanwhile, Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Chinese company ByteDance, said that TikTok has over billion downloads and the Madurai bench of Madras High Court has passed an ex-parte order.
Earlier, TikTok agreed to pay $5.7 million fine to FTC in a settlement over allegations of violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. As a result, TikTok now restricts underage users below the age of 13 from using the app.
Countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh have already imposed a ban on TikTok.
(With PTI inputs)