PIL says Pokemon GO hurts religious sentiments

PIL says Pokemon GO hurts religious sentiments

Gujarat HC issues notice to Centre, state, US-based maker

PIL says Pokemon GO hurts religious sentiments
The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Centre, state government and developer of mobile phone game Pokemon GO, based on a PIL that the game hurts religious sentiments.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi issued the notices based on a public interest litigation seeking a ban on the game and its formal launch in India, saying that it hurts the religious sentiments of Hindus and Jains.

“The key argument that I put forth is that the game is hurting religious sentiments,” said Nachiketa Dave, who argued for petitioner Alay Dave. The petitioner contended that the game sees players enter various places of worship, including temples and derasars (jain temples) to score points. “Those who succeed are rewarded with obnoxious eggs. Offering eggs to people in temples and derasars, even in the virtual world, is highly objectionable and not a done thing. The religions propagate non-violence and vegetarianism, while eggs are non-vegetarian. We cannot stand this and it is blasphemous to carry non-vegetarian food inside a place of worship of Hindus and Jains,” he said. The petitioner also sought directions to the Union and state government to stop the formal launch of the game in India. “It also compromises the safety of the player and a lot of accidents have taken place due to players getting engrossed in this game, other than privacy and security issues,” Alay said, adding, “Though it has not been officially launched here, people in India are still playing it.”

The court emailed the notice to Niantic, the San Fransisco-based developer of the game, and the matter is likely to come up for hearing next week. The controversial game has been banned in several countries across the globe, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran, over religious and safety concerns, with developers Niantic and Nintendo being sued across the US over the issue of trespassing by players of Pokemon GO.
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