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22 Dec 2020

Delhi High Court Wants Response from Centre and Police on Gambling Ban Plea

Delhi High Court wants response from centre and police

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked for a response from the central government and the Delhi Police on a plea seeking directions to ban gambling and gaming websites.

The bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to both the ministry of finance and the ministry of electronics and information technology. The petition was proposed by chartered accountant Avinash Mehrotra, who argues that, while gambling is illegal under centre and many state laws, it continues freely online.

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed through advocate Awantika Manohar, who is also represented by advocates Siddharth Iyer and Prashant Kumar. The plea states that "online gambling is a far worse evil than regular gambling" as easy access makes it possible for anyone to gamble their life savings away.

"Additionally, it is submitted that the online gambling system in India today, in its unregulated state, is potentially a great place for carrying out hawala operations, laundering money, etc. In fact, it is submitted that Foreign Exchange laws, as well as Income Tax laws, are also likely being violated today by the online gambling websites", the plea says.

This petition is looking to quash of an order of October 21 issued by the Centre where it had stated that it does not have the competence to block gambling and betting websites in India.

The matter would be now heard on January 29, 2021.

In October, the Delhi High Court conceded that there is an amount of skill in any game as it asked the Centre and the AAP government to treat as a representation a public interest litigation.

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