TikTok declined to comment.
The platform, owned by China-based ByteDance, was one of 59 Chinese mobile applications that the government banned on Monday, accusing them of causing a threat to national security by stealing and transferring the data of Indian users to locations outside the country.
TikTok is planning to approach the govt next week with its contention that it did not misuse the data, said one of the lawyers. Depending on the response received from the government, it will initiate legal action, he added. One of the key questions discussed during the meeting with the law firm was whether the government followed due procedure and gave enough time for TikTok to respond to the allegations, said the lawyer. Another was if the govt had conducted an investigation before imposing the ban.
“An argument can be made on the grounds of principles of natural justice, as the company was not even given a hearing before the ban was imposed,” said the lawyer. “However, the allegations against them are very serious since they pertain to national security. In the past, courts have declined interfering against government action in such national security matters.”
The second lawyer said the company and its lawyers were trying to figure out if an appeal could be made directly in the Supreme Court.
The government used a provision in the Information Technology Act to initiate action against Tik Tok. The section (69A) allows the government to block online content or applications where it believes the content or the platform is a threat to national security.