PUBG Mobile: Penalty for playing the Battle Royale game? Ministry responds

India’s Esports industry debated whether it was ethical and legal for content creators and streamers to play the Korean version of PUBG Mobile as the global version is banned in the country.

The controversy grew to the point that a law student, Prasoon Shekhar, submitted an RTI to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for clarification. In the RTI, he asked a few points and received a response.

Prasoon Shekhar asked for the following information under the Right to Information Act: 1.

Provide the legal provisions that will govern what happens if someone violates the ban on Chinese apps like PUBG Mobile.

What is the maximum penalty and the penalty that can be imposed on the defaulter, if any?

Provide the number of people prosecuted (till date of reply to RTI application)  for violating the ban and restrictions on Chinese apps.

No penalties are imposed on individual users of mobile applications such as TikTok, PUBG, CamScanner, UC Browser, etc. which were blocked by the ministry due to security concerns.

However, under section 69A of the Information Technology Act, a penalty is required for intermediaries who do not comply with the blocking orders.

“MeitY does not ban any App. However blocking of specified Apps was done under the provisions of Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and its Rules namely Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking Access of Information by the Public) Rules, 2009. Section 69A of the Act provides for penalty to intermediaries for non-compliance of the blocking order. However, no penalty is prescribed for individual users of such Apps”, the Ministry said in its reply.