The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Madras High Court to pass a verdict by April 24 on the TikTok application’s petition against its ban. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that if the High Court does not pass its judgement by April 24, it will vacate the ban on the video app, PTI reported.
TikTok is a popular mobile application that allows users to create short lip-synced videos.
On April 15, the Supreme Court had refused to stay the Madras High Court order banning the app, and listed the matter for hearing on April 22. The High Court had directed the Centre to ban the download of Tiktok over concerns of pornographic content on April 3, and on April 16, it refused to vacate this order.
TikTok had filed a plea in the top court last week arguing that the Madras High Court’s decision to ban the app, the communication by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to comply with the order, and the removal of the app by Google and Apple from their app stores, violate the fundamental right to free speech and expression, Bar and Bench reported. The company also said that around 200 people the app employs will lose their jobs.
TikTok argued that it is merely an intermediary under the Information Technology Act, 2000, on which users can generate and post content. The platform itself has no role in the selection or creation of content, Tiktok said. It added that the High Court seems to have missed this aspect.
The company also alleged that the action ordered against it is selective, because the problems it faces are exactly the same as faced by other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.