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Hearing on TikTok’s appeal against the ban imposed by Madras High Court, Supreme Court did not pass any order on April 22 considering the High Court has posted the case on April 24. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the Madras High Court to decide on its interim ban on Chinese video app by Wednesday. The ban will be lifted if the high court fails to give its decision on a plea filed by Bytedance, which owns TikTok, the Supreme Court said.

Bytedance told the Supreme Court that the interim order was passed without hearing them. It further argued that the mobile platform is an intermediary as per Section 2(w) of the Information Technology Act, and that it cannot be held liable for actions of third parties on the platform.

The app-operator relied on Section 79 of the IT Act which provides protection to intermediaries. Bytedance said that the app is for circulation of "fun" and "amusing" videos, and posed no threat to life, liberty and security of an individual. Only a minuscule percentage of videos - 0.0006 %- is flagged as inappropriate by users, and an overwhelming majority of persons are using it legitimately for personal entertainment and expression, stated the app operator in its petition in SC.

It may be noted that SC had earlier refused to stay the Madras High Court interim order that directed the centre to ban the video app over concerns that it encourages pornography. After this, Google and Apple had removed TikTok from their respective app stores.

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court, which is hearing another petition that alleges the app "degrades culture and encourages pornography", had earlier said children who were using TikTok were vulnerable to exposure to sexual predators.