10 Oct 2015

Maharashtra government directed to decide on implementation of Casinos Act within six months

The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Maharashtra government to take a reasoned stand on whether it intends to implement a four decade old legislation, the Maharashtra Casinos (Control & Tax) Act, 1976 within six months in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

A division bench of the High Court comprising of Justices VM Kanade and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi while disposing off a PIL filed for implementation of the Maharashtra Casinos (Control & Tax) Act, 1976- in terms of petitioner Jay Sayta’s prayer no. (b) noted that the petitioner was at liberty to approach the court with a fresh petition in case he was not satisfied with the state governments efforts.

The PIL was filed as non-implementation of the will of the legislature due to executive oversight or inaction is a matter of grave concern and goes against the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers and legislative supremacy.The government is expected to comply with the order of the High Court and expeditiously decides as to whether it will implement the Maharashtra Casinos (Control & Tax) Act, 1976; failing which it will be open for the petitioner to file a fresh petition (including contempt petition) against the state government.

Mihir Desai, Senior Counsel and Gaurav Mehta, Advocate appeared for the petitioner and were briefed by solicitor Anirudh Hariani of Hariani & Co.