Assembly session may be held in January, Advocate-General tells HC

‘Bill to replace an Ordinance promulgated by the State government banning online games played with stakes on the cyberspace could be tabled’

There is a possibility that the Assembly session will be held in January, when a Bill to replace an Ordinance promulgated by the State government banning all online games, including rummy, played with stakes on the cyberspace, could be tabled, Advocate-General (A-G) Vijay Narayan told the Madras High Court on Monday.

Justices R. Subbiah and C. Saravanan were informed that the Act may or may not be an exact replica of the Ordinance. Therefore, some online rummy companies that had now approached the court challenging the validity of the Ordinance might have to file fresh cases challenging the Act, if they so desired, the A-G said.

The submission was made during the hearing of cases filed by Junglee Games, Play Games, Head Digital Work and Gameskraft Technologies, challenging the validity of the Ordinance. Senior Counsel Mohan Parasaran, Mukul Rohatgi and P.S. Raman wondered why online rummy should be banned in Tamil Nadu alone, when it was permitted elsewhere.

The counsel also said that online rummy was much safer compared to the game, when played physically. However, the A-G said the government had to promulgate the Ordinance because teenagers and young adults had got addicted to online gambling, spending their valuable time, energy and other resources on it.

He also undertook to file a detailed counter affidavit to the writ petitions, by the first week of January, and get along with the hearing of the matter. The judges recorded his submission and adjourned the cases after asking him to make sure that the counter affidavit is served on the petitioners, in advance.

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