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Blue whale: SC asks DD to make programme for prime time show

New Delhi: Doordarshan has been directed by the Supreme Court to produce a 10-minute show on the perils of virtual dare games like Blue Whale Challenge within a week and ensure it is shown by the public broadcaster and private channels on prime time.
"How you (Centre) will do it, we are not concerned. But you must do it," the bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said, adding that such online games posed a danger to life and they must be "contained".
The bench said "lonely", and "depressed" children are usually drawn to such dangerous games and asked the Centre to take steps to ensure that no such deaths occur.
Terming visual medium as being most "effective", the top court said, "Doordarshan shall prepare a programme in consultation with the Ministries of Women and Child Development and the Human Resource Development within one week to educate children about the evils of the Blue whale game so that they are not involved in that game."
It said the competent authorities should also ensure that the programme is shown on private TV channels as well.
Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, appearing for the Centre, said around 28 cases relating to such games had been reported so far in the country, and the agencies are probing them. He sought three weeks time to file a reply.
The law officer said the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has set up a committee to deal with the issue and information was being sought from various service providers and steps would be taken to ensure that such incidents do not recur.
The bench granted three weeks to the Centre to file a detailed affidavit indicating steps taken by the concerned ministries including the Ministry of Home Affairs and fixed the PIL for further hearing on November 20.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by lawyer Sneha Kalita, seeking to frame guidelines to regulate and monitor virtual digital online games like Blue Whale and other life-threatening online games.
Earlier, the court had asked the government to set up a panel of experts to block virtual dare games like Blue Whale Challenge which has allegedly led to several suicidal deaths.
It had also sought the response on the plea seeking to firewall such life-threatening and violent games existing in the cyber world like 'Choking game', 'Salt and Ice Challenge', 'Fire Challenge', 'Cutting challenge', 'Eyeball challenge' and 'Human Embroidery game'.
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