Chennai: The Madras High Court on Thursday refused to order relevant authorities to ban all online and offline video games, which would have the effect of spoiling school children. There is no doubt that children and young adults these days were addicted to their phones and laptops and their world seems to revolve around these gadgets.
But the courts cannot issue such a restraining order right now, the premier bench said. This is the political question that the appropriate state or central governments must consider, said judges for Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Judge Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy in getting rid of a PIL petition from the city attorney. E Martin Jayakumar.
The bench said constitutional courts should be slow to enter such areas and deal with such issues on the personal sense of morality of the individual complainant or the judge or judges involved.
There is no doubt that when there is an illegal action or something which is detrimental to the wider public interest, the constitutional courts intervene; but in cases of the current kind, especially when elected governments are in place, these policy questions should be left to the wisdom of those who represent the people and have their mandate instead of the diktat.
Only if the executive fails to act and then the Court, perceiving the case as a danger to society, should intervene.
The court ordered the petitioner to send, within four weeks, representations to the Center through the Ministry of Women and Child Development and to the state government through the department considered to be. most appropriate by the applicant.
The authorities concerned should give due consideration to the matter and indicate their position to the petitioner within eight weeks, the judiciary said.
The intricacies of the threat complained of by the petitioner and the larger or longer term effects that these online games have on children and young adults have not been addressed in detail in these proceedings, particularly in the absence of any scientific material in such regard, said the bench.
Nothing in this order will prevent further complaints from being brought even before this court if proper executive action is not taken on it, he said.
According to the petitioner, cell phones have completely invaded people’s lives and even children and minors are looking for and obtaining cell phones.
Many children and young adults are addicted to and become addicted to online games. The addiction would be devastating and life threatening in the sense that it destroys a young adult’s phase of career development and could even lead to suicidal tendencies, the petitioner claimed.