Sneha Kalita v. Union of India

The Cyber Blog IndiaCase Summary

Blue Whale

Sneha Kalita v. Union of India
(2018) 12 SCC 674
In the Supreme Court of India
W.P. 943/2017
Before Chief Justice Deepak Mishra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud
Decided on November 20, 2017

Relevancy of the case: Banning suicidal and dangerous games like Blue Whale

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 69A)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The writ petitions were filed to put an immediate ban on games and apps, such as Blue Whale, that endangers the lives of people.
  • Blue Whale is an app-based game that consists of 50 steps that leads people towards suicide.
  • The Central Government blocked the game and similar sites and issued directions for spreading awareness exercising powers.

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

  • The respondent’s counsel submitted that it is the primary duty of parents and schools to protect children.
  • The respondent’s counsel further suggests that the state must issue directions because children may feel unworthy for not obtaining desired marks. This may trap them in such games and give them the idea of meeting death with glory.
  • The respondent’s counsel submitted that a report affirms children are sharing the app secretly on social media groups. It is also said that the creators target depressed children and sent them an invite to join the game.

Opinion of the Bench

  • The bench was of the opinion that whatever endangers life, brainwashes and drives depressed people, and mostly children, to suicide should be condemned.
  • The state should ensure the spreading of awareness about the issue in schools.

Final Decision

  • Writ Petition disposed of with directions.

This case summary has been prepared by Anushka Ojha, an undergraduate student at Bharati Vidyapeeth New Law College, Pune, during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in May/June 2021.