High Court (India)

April 17, 2019

Stay on TikTok ban refused by Madras HC, Arvind Datar appointed independent counsel


The Madras High Court’s Madurai Bench has refused to stay its ban on downloading the video-sharing mobile application TikTok.

Reportedly however, the Bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and SS Sundar directed that Senior Advocate Arvind Datar be appointed as independent counsel in the case. The appointment of Datar was directed to examine the TikTok app’s implications. Reportedly, TikTok submitted before the Court that it had technology to filter inappropriate content. But the Bench refused to stay its ban and adjourned the matter to April 24.

The Court’s primary concern is TikTok users’ safety. However, the Bench indicated that it wanted to examine written submissions in the matter before revisiting the restriction imposed on the download of the app.

A ban had been ordered on the download and use of the video-sharing app on April 3.

TikTok had moved the apex court against the Madras High Court’s order, contending that it was arbitrary and illegal, and restricted its right to freedom of speech and expression and would lead to financial losses and loss of jobs. However, the SC Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna refused to stay the Madras High Court order, listing it instead for April 22.

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