Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, actress Tamanna Bhatia and Malayalam actor Aju Varghese have been issued notice by the Kerala High Court in connection with a PIL, which seeked ban on online rummy games.
These stars were accused of endorsing online rummy games as Kochi-based lawyer Pauly Vadakkan filed this petition which said these are unlawful games and it is a shame to see these celebrities endorsing it.
Vadakkan told the media that there are people who often use their life savings on these platforms. This petition was filed after two youths from Kerala committed suicide and died after they lost their savings on these online rummy games. The petitioner said that there many other cases have been reported across the state of Kerala where people have been scammed by these online rummy games.
A 28-year-old man, an ISRO employee hailing from Kattakkada in Thiruvananthapuram district, died after committing suicide. He allegedly was trapped in one of these online rummy game platforms and was in a debt of Rs 21 lakh. Thus, when he knew that he would not be able to pay the debt back, he ended up taking up his own life.
Stars like Kohli, Tamanna and Varghese endorse these platforms and as a result gamblers get attracted with these fake promises and of course the probability of winnings is slim to none, the plea side.
The petitioner said that the current law governing activities in the state, the Kerala Gaming Act 1960, does not have any jurisdiction over any online gambling, wagering or betting activities. This act at the max extends to gaming activities conducted in a “common gaming house” by using any ”instrument of gaming kept or used in such enclosed physical premises for the accrual of profit or gain to the person owning, occupying, keeping such instruments of gaming in the enclosed physical premises."
"Thus a person sitting in his private house, using these online gambling platforms from his house arguably may not come within the definition of a common gaming house," the petitioner said as reported by Deccan Herald.