Madras HC Allows Online Gaming Companies to Withdraw Petition, Noting that Challenged TN Ordinance is Yet to be Notified

Savvy Thakur

Published on: 17 November 2022 at 12:01 IST

The All India Gaming Federation and other online gaming companies withdrew all petitions challenging the Tamil Nadu government’s ordinance for the regulation of online games and the prohibition of online gambling, after State informed that it is yet to be notified.

The petitioners were also granted permission to submit additional petitions following the ordinance’s implementation by the bench composed of Acting Chief Justice T Raja and Justice D Krishnakumar.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the State of Tamil Nadu, argued that the petitioners were seeking an early prayer when the matter came up for hearing today. He told the court that the ordinance hasn’t been put into effect yet and that the petitioners don’t have the right to challenge it.

Senior Advocate Aryama Sundaram, represented one of the submitted gaming companies, stated, “There are no questions of consent of the governor. Only the ordinance will take effect on the notification date. The ordinance has not yet been put into effect.”

The counsel further supported the Sibal’s argument. However, he added that officers have no authority to visit the business and take action against them until such ordinance is in effect.

He then suggested that the court could hear the petitions after the law comes into effect and tell the states not to take any action against the gaming companies in the meantime.

However, this argument was rejected by both the State and the Court. The court noted that it was unable to issue such directives while the ordinance was still in effect.

The petitioners’ counsel, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, also stated that the officers had already stopped by the petitioner companies’ offices.

Senior Advocate Satish Parasaran, who also represented the petitioner, made the argument that skill-based games like rummy and poker were not gambling games. He added that they were actually seeking protection from any disciplinary action, not a challenge to the validity of the ordinance or law.

“They will all become criminals as soon as the ordinance goes into effect tomorrow. I’m not challenging the legislature or the ordinance in any way.”

The court noting that the granted the by the ordinance itself had not come into effect, the petitioners were given permission to withdraw the suit and file fresh petitions.

Related Post