Madras HC lifts ban on TikTok

The Madurai Bench of the Madras high court lifted the ban on TikTok, three weeks after it had asked the government to prohibit further downloads of the popular Chinese short-video application.

Bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and SS Sundar has vacated the interim order by the Supreme Court of India (SC), on 22 April, to ban of TikTok in the country.

On 3 April, the Madras HC had called for the ban on the download of TikTok, owing to the spread of pornographic content on the platform. It’s also been alleged, in several countries no less, that the app is proving to be a fertile hunting ground for paedophiles.

Amicus Curiae Arvind Datar, appointed by the court to examine the implications of the app, argued on Wednesday that banning an application is not the solution, and rights of legitimate users must be protected.

Deciding the case filed by advocate Muthukumar, the bench vacated its interim order banning the app, subject to conditions that pornographic videos will not be uploaded on it, failing with the contempt of court proceedings would begin.

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court, which is hearing another petition that alleges the app “degrades culture and encourages pornography”, had earlier said children who were using TikTok were vulnerable to exposure to sexual predators.

The SC earlier this week said that if the Madras HC fails to decide on the interim relief by on 24 April, the order will stand vacated — meaning, if the order isn’t passed today by the High Court, the ban on TikTok app will be overturned.