PIL says Pokemon GO hurts religious sentiments, Gujarat HC issues notices
The Gujarat high court issued notices to US-based maker of Pokémon Go and the state and central governments on Wednesday after a public interest litigation sought a ban on the augmented reality game, alleging it hurt religious sentiments by showing virtual eggs in places of worship.
The game uses augmented reality and mapping to make gaming visuals appear in the real world, overlaid on the landscape seen through the player’s cell-phone cameras.
Gamers can acquire virtual eggs and incubate them. Once an egg is hatched, the user gets a Pokémon monster that is added to his collection.
“The HC has issued notices against all the respondents including developer Ninatic Inc, the state government and ministry of information and broadcasting,” a lawyer for the petitioner, Alay Anil Dave, said. “Next hearing is likely to be after four weeks,” he added.
The Pokemon characters are known to pop up more at places such as public parks, restaurants and museums.
Dave said gaming eggs showing up on players’ mobile phones inside temples was objectionable for communities such as Hindus and Jains.
“The points are in the form of eggs. These appears at the current location, which is many a times the places of worship of different religious groups. We are seeking a ban on the game in India,” said the lawyer.
The HC said the petitioner can raise the issue with the developer.
Soon after its launch, the game began facing a backlash after players were drawn to dark alleys and dangerous locations looking for the imaginary creatures of the game.