A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in India's western-most state of Gujarat against popular location-based augmented reality game "Pokémon GO," alleging that the it was hurting religious sentiments of certain communities by showing virtual eggs in places of worship. Following the PIL, the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Indian central government, the state government and U.S. based-Niantic Inc, Asian News International reported.
According to the PIL, which was reportedly filed Tuesday by a division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul Pancholi, the image of eggs shown in the Niantic-developed AR-game appear in places of worship of different religious groups. Some religious communities such as Hindus and Jains restrict themselves from the consumption of non-vegetarian foods, including eggs. In India, Hindu and Jain temples also do not allow non-vegetarian food inside the premises.
“People playing the game get their points in the form of eggs which generally appear in the places of worship of different religious groups. To find eggs in temples of Hindus and Jains is blasphemous, and therefore my client has sought ban on the game from the country,” petitioner’s lawyer Nachiket Dave reportedly said.
Despite the game not being officially launched in India, several users are playing "Pokémon GO" by downloading it using APK files. The launch date for "Pokémon GO" has not been announced so far.
Other issues raised against the game include the infringement on privacy, threat of life and limbs to the players, as users have to walk around to score a point.
"Pokémon GO," which was launched in the United States on July 6, has topped the charts of the most played game over since its release. However, it has come under fire after several people complained about their privacy being compromised when strangers arrived at their doorsteps in order to find pokemons or get eggs. Several road accidents have also been blamed on the game.