Responding to a writ petition, the High Court has ordered a three-month ban on "harmful and addictive" online games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Garena Free Fire (Free Fire) in Bangladesh.
The court also issued a rule on Monday in response to the same writ petition, questioning why video sharing and streaming apps such as TikTok, Bigo Live, and Likee should not be banned.
Secretaries of posts and telecommunications, education, home, law and health ministries, the inspector general of police, The Bangladesh Bank governor, The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission chairman, and mobile network operators have been asked to reply to the rule within 10 days.
The High Court bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Kamrul Hossain Mollah issued the order.
On 24 June, Barrister Mohammad Humayun Kabir Pallab and Barrister Mohammad Kausar filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking directives to take down "harmful and addictive games" such as PUBG and Free Fire, and also video sharing and streaming apps.
Earlier on 19 June, the two petitioners sent a legal notice to the defendants highlighting the negative impact of these games and online video streaming apps on children, teenagers, and others of the younger generation.
"There have also been recent incidents of money laundering and trafficking of women using TikTok, Likee, and Bigo Live, which is highly alarming and contrary to the values of the country and the public interest," the notice read.
It added, "These games and apps are leading to addiction among children and teenagers too."
The notice also sought the formation of a high-level committee to oversee and review such games and video streaming services and the creation of a policy on such matters.