PUBG ban lifted by Nepal’s Supreme Court as it could adversely impact citizens' freedom of expression

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on Apr 25 2019
PUBG ban lifted by Nepal’s Supreme Court as it could adversely impact citizens' freedom of expression
HIGHLIGHTS

Nationwide PUBG ban in Nepal lifted.

Nepal’s Supreme Court has ruled a stay on the ban saying it affects citizens' freedom of expression.

The country’s apex court has also issued a show cause notice to the Nepal government.

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The ban on popular online battle royale game PUBG was short-lived in Nepal as the country’s Supreme Court has ordered a stay on the ban. The title was banned by the nation’s government on April 11 as it was considered to be inciting violent behaviour in players and was a hindrance to studies of college and school going students. On April 11, Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) issued a directive that ISPs will block all internet traffic originating from PUBG servers to stop anyone from playing the game, reports The Himalayan Times. Now, the ban has been lifted by the country’s apex court, which has also issued a show cause notice to the government. 

As per the report, Nepal’s Supreme Court observed that the game was used by the public for entertainment. The court reportedly said that the ban in effect could adversely impact citizen’s rights to freedom and banning it would require the government to prove that the action is fair and reasonable and does not impact residents' freedoms. The petition to lift the ban argued that if anyone is playing the game via the internet, then the ban would be related to their freedom of expression and while the Nepal govt. has the power to impose reasonable restrictions on freedom of expression, ban of PUBG is not justified as there is no ground as stated by Article 17 of the country’s constitution. 

The stay of nationwide ban on PUBG would surely come as a relief to the game developers. The online battle royale title has been the subject of numerous controversies and bans around the world. It was met with strong criticism with parents asking for a ban in India as well and was banned and was made illegal from certain districts of Gujarat. The issue escalated when some gamers were caught playing it and were jailed by the authorities. Recently, both PUBG and Fortnite were banned in Iraq when the country’s parliament voted to ban them citing the same reason of having a “negative” influence on the children playing the games.

 

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