27 Nov 2020 Patrick

PIL In Delhi High Court Seeks Ban on Online Betting and Gambling

PIL In Delhi High Court Seeks Ban on Online Betting and Gambling

A PIL has moved to the Delhi High Court seeking a direction to the Centre to take steps to ban websites accessible from India which allow online gambling and betting.

The petition argues that despite there being laws in various states against such activity, there is little enforcement and these websites still act freely.

The plea, by Avinash Mehotra, says: "It is submitted that all these activities, though expressly prohibited by law, are being carried out because of a lack of enforcement of the laws in question."

It also claims, that because the online gambling system in India is unregulated, its "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 continues.

Mehrotra moved a similar petition last year which was disposed of with a direction to the Centre to treat it as a representation and take a decision in accordance with law.

The central government subsequently informed him that it did not have the legislative competence to ban or block websites.

In addition to a ban, Mehotra seeks back taxes from players and bettors, and the operators.

He has also sought a direction to the Centre to ''prosecute the unscrupulous owners/proprietors, and the promoters of the online gambling websites, in accordance with law".

Various PILs have been filed in the Delhi High Court in the last few years, and recently the Court asked the government to treat as a representation a PIL against technology enabling online gambling.

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