The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the response of Facebook, Google and Yahoo on a plea to direct them to take down the links of Blue Whale challenge, an Internet-based suicide challenge that has been allegedly linked to several deaths of children worldwide.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi Police asking them to inform about the steps they have taken in this regard.
While issuing notice to the Indian units of the Internet giants, the bench also directed them to file a status report with regard to the steps they have taken in pursuance to Centre's direction to ban the online challenge called the 'Blue Whale Challenge'.
The plea, filed by advocate Gurmeet Singh, has sought immediate directions to restrain the Internet firms from uploading any material pertaining to the challenge challenge, citing cases of suicide by children in India and abroad.
The court listed the matter for August 28 by when it has sought the responses from all the authorities.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police counsel Sanjoy Ghose informed the court that the cyber security cell was active in this regard and the Centre has also issued a direction.
On August 15, the Ministry of Electronics and IT had directed the Internet majors - Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo - to immediately remove the links of the deadly Blue Whale Challenge.
The sudden popularity of the lethal online challenge - Blue Whale Challenge, in which the final task requires the player to commit suicide, had forced the government to issue the directions to the Internet firms to remove the links of the dangerous challenge.
The high court had on August 17 expressed concern over children allegedly committing suicide while playing the challenge.
The Blue Whale Challenge is reportedly a suicide challenge in which the player is given certain tasks to complete over a period of 50 days and the final task leads him or her to commit suicide. The player is also asked to share photos after finishing each challenge.
More than six children across India in the age group of 12-19 years have taken their lives playing this challenge within a span of two weeks, reports have said.
Deaths of teenagers have also been reported from other countries including Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Argentina, Bulgaria, Chile and Italy, the PIL has said.