Pokemon Go in Gujarat HC for ‘hurting religious sentiments’

The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday issued notice to developers of location basedaugmented reality game ‘Pokemon Go’, following a PIL seeking ban on the game in India alleging that it not only hurts religious sentiments but it is also a threat to national security.
An image of an egg as it appears within the video game
An image of an egg as it appears within the video game


A division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice VM Pancholi issued notices to San Franciscobased developer of the game, Niantic, Inc., and Central and Gujarat governments. As per the PIL by one Alay Dave, among other things, the image of eggs shown in the augmented reality game appear in places of worship of different religious groups. The petitioner has said eggs are considered as non-vegetarian food, and it is blasphemous to carry non-vegetarian food inside a place of worship of Hindus and Jains. 
“People playing the game get their points in the form of virtual eggs which generally appear in the places of worship of different religious groups. To find eggs in temples of Hindus and Jains is blasphemous, and therefore my client has sought ban on the game from the country,” petitioner’s lawyer Nachiket Dave said. The PIL also raised the issue of game being used as surveillance tool which can cause threat to national security. 
The PIL cites an example of police in Missouri, US solving a case of robbery which was conducted by robbers using geo-location feature of ‘Pokemon Go’. Among other points raised against the game are that it infringes upon privacy, and it poses threat of life and limbs to the players, who have to walk around to score a point. The PIL said, “As it affects social, religious and national security interest, it should be banned in the country.” Pokemon Go was credited with popularising locationbased and augmented reality gaming, promoting physical activity, and helping local businesses grow. However, it also attracted controversy for contributing to accidents and becoming a public nuisance at some locations.

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