The All India Gaming Federation and other online gaming companies on Wednesday withdrew all petitions challenging Tamil Nadu government’s ordinance for Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games, after State informed that it is yet to be notified.
The bench of Acting Chief Justice T Raja and Justice D Krishnakumar also gave liberty to the petitioners to file fresh petitions once the ordinance comes into effect.
When the matter came up for hearing today, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for the state of Tamil Nadu objected to the petitions and contended that the petitioners were seeking a premature prayer. He informed the court that the ordinance has not yet come into effect and that the petitioners did not have necessary cause of action to challenge the ordinance.
Senior Advocate Aryama Sundaram, appearing for one of the gaming companies submitted, There is no questions of consent of governor. It’s only that the ordinance will come into effect on the date notified. As of today the ordinance has not come into effect. I agree with this argument of Sibal. But then till such ordinance come into effect your officers cannot come and take action against the companies, he argued.
He then suggested that the court could take up the petitions after the law comes into effect but in the meantime direct the States not to take any action against the gaming companies.
However, both the State and the Court were not in favour of this submission. The court observed that it could not pass such directions when the ordinance itself had not come into effect.
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the petitioners also submitted that the officers were already coming to the office of the petitioner companies and asking them to stop.
Senior Advocate Satish Parasaran, also appearing for the Petitioner submitted that games such as rummy and poker were not gambling games and that they were games which involved skills. He further submitted that they were not challenging the legitimacy of the ordinance or law but were in fact seeking protection from any penal action.
Tomorrow the ordinance will come into effect and at that moment, all of them will become criminals. I’m not challenging the ordinance, the legislature or anything. I’m just saying that the executives should not take any action, he argued
Observing that the court could not interfere at such a time when the ordinance itself had not come into effect, the court gave liberty to the petitioners to withdraw the suit with liberty to file fresh petitions.
Case Title: All India Gaming Federation v. State of Tamil Nadu and other connected cases
Case No: WP No. 29911 of 2022