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Gujarat HC issues notice to Centre, Guj Govt & Niantic Inc over Pokémon Go [Read Order]

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pokemon-1574648_640Gujarat High Court has on September 7, issued notice to Union of India, Gujarat Government and the California based Niantic Inc. in a public interest litigation (PIL) petition alleging that the mobile game Pokémon Go hurts religious sentiments by showing eggs being collected in different places of worship in India.

After hearing the petition, bench comprising of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul M Pancholi sought response from the respondents and listed the matter for October 5. Bench ordered:

Notice returnable on 5.10.2016. Learned counsel for the petitioner is also permitted to serve respondent no.5 by e-mail.

PIL has been filed by advocate Alay Anil Dave. As per the order, Dave was represented by advocate Nirav A Joshi. Through the PIL, petitioner has sought enforcement of the fundamental right of freedom of religion guaranteed under article 25 of the Constitution of India and for protection of public property, life and privacy of citizens. PIL claims that the game "infringes upon the privacy of individuals and poses threat of life to the players, who have to walk around to score a point".

Petitioner's lawyer told Indian Express that “[Pokémon Go] hurts religious sentiments of Hindus and various other religions since eggs are depicted at temples and other houses of prayers belonging to several religions. I moved the PIL to know what is the intention of this gaming company.”

Read the order here.

[Mohit Singh is a Delhi based Advocate]

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