TikTok app ban: Supreme Court directs Madras High Court to decide on TikTok’s plea against ban on April 24

By Digit NewsDesk | Updated 22 Apr 2019
TikTok app ban: Supreme Court directs Madras High Court to decide on TikTok’s plea against ban on April 24
  • SC has directed Madras High Court to decide the plea against TikTok ban on April 24
  • The TikTok app was banned in India after the Madras High Court in India earlier this month.
  • TikTok has over 54 million monthly active users in India with over 1 billion overall downloads.

April has not been a good month for developers of the TikTok app. At the start of this month, Madras High Court asked Centre to ban the app for “encouraging pornography" and recently, it was taken down from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store after Supreme Court passed a directive to stay the ban on the app. Now, the Supreme Court has directed the Madra High Court to consider a plea by the app developers on April 24, to lift the ban imposed on it. As per a PTI report, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said if the Madras High Court fails to decide on the plea, then the ban order on the app will be vacated.

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As mentioned earlier, TikTok was banned by the Madras High Court in India earlier this month. This happened after a petition alleging that the app promotes and encourages pornography, child abuse, and suicide. The apps’ developers tried to get a stay on the ban order in the Supreme Court, which was denied and following the SC’s ruling, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) directed Google and Apple to remove the TikTok app from their respective app stores. Owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Co., TikTok has over 54 million monthly active users in India with over 1 billion overall downloads. 

Citing the order of Madras High Court being arbitrary and illegal, TikTok claims that the ban violates the right to freedom of speech and expression. This decision will result in financial losses for the company. Challenging the court’s order, TikTok said, “It is submitted that this is a blatant abuse of the process of ‘Public Interest Litigation’, which has evolved as an important tool to protect the larger interest of the people of this country.”

While the TikTok app might no longer be available via official sources, users who have it installed can keep using it. However, while it is banned, there’s no confirmation on whether using the app will be punishable by law in the country, similar to how several PUBG Mobile gamers were arrested when the app was banned temporarily in Gujarat.

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