19 Mar 2019 Jonas Lemberg

Gujarat HC adjourns poker appeal to 20th June

Gujarat HC

A division bench of the Gujarat High Court comprising of Acting Chief Justice Anant S. Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav adjourned the letters patent appeal filed by three appellants- Dominance Games Private Limited, Hotel Ramada Ahmedabad and Aman Chabbra to 20th June, 2019.

The hearing, which will determine the legality of poker played in clubs and whether it is a game of skill, was supposed to be conducted on 11th March, but the matter was adjourned until after the summer vacation of the High Court.

Meanwhile, an application filed by Indian Poker Association (IPA) Secretary KN Suresh to restore his letters patent appeal, which was dismissed for non-appearance on 14th February, has also not yet been heard by the court and may come up for hearing in June.

The letters patent appeals have been preferred against the December 2017 order of a single judge bench of the Gujarat High Court, that ruled poker to be a game of chance and falling within the ambit of gambling. The petitions have been pending for the last year and a half without much progress or substantial hearing, with frequent changes in the composition of the bench hearing the matter. It remains to be seen whether the hearings will gather momentum after June 2019 or if the matter will remain in cold storage for a longer period.

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