PUBG Mobile India is trying really hard to comeback to the country after it was banned by the Government of India in September 2020. PUBG Mobile India and 118 Chinese apps were banned by the government on grounds of national security under section 69A of the Information Technology Act of 2000. There has been lot of media talks about PUBG Mobile India requesting a meeting with the Government of India so that they can plan a comeback on March 2021. However, on Friday, the Government of India decided to respond to certain RTI queries that had been filed by Gem Wires in December. The responses to the Right to Information (RTI) reveal a very interesting trend and it has also shattered the amount of misinformation that is already prevalent on social media.
For months, there have been speculations that PUBG Mobile India officials have been requesting a meeting with the Government of India for a relaunch. However, the RTI query response reveals a very different picture. In the response, the Government of India has clearly said that ‘no formal dialogue with PUBG/Krafton is held by the Ministry’. Thus, all the speculations that PUBG Mobile is trying to have a meeting with the Government is not completely true. There has been no formal initiation of the process even now.
Banning and appeal of the ban
The Government of India has also clearly clarified that access to PUBG Mobile is not illegal. In an earlier report, it was mentioned that individuals that play the PUBG Mobile global version which is the Korean one will not be penalized by the government. However, the intermediaries that provide the link and resource to the individuals will be penalized potentially with a ban or a heavy fine. Thus, gamers can play the global version of PUBG Mobile but with severe restrictions.
In this, the Government has managed to side-step the issue of the ban by stating that it has not banned the access of the Mobile Nordic Map: Livik Apk of the game. The ban was applicable only to a specific version of the app, which was banned not just in India, but many other Asian countries, owing to several various reasons.
PUBG Mobile India/Krafton can technically appeal against the ban and it is legal under Article 226 of the Indian constitution. But, since the ban is on national security grounds, the courts of the country might not entertain it.