Pointing out that the Supreme Court has held that the game of Rummy (13 cards) is predominantly a game of skill, the Madras High Court has advised the Chennai City Police not to disturb a cultural association in T. Nagar here frequently under the guise of inspection as it would disturb its peace and harmony.

Justice S. Rajeswaran passed the order on a petition by the Mahalakshmi Cultural Association, which sought to forbear the police from interfering in any manner in its activities, including playing Rummy with or without stakes and also from harassing the members.

The association said it was formed in 1981 and was a registered one. Its case was that its members and guests did play Rummy with stakes, which had been declared to be not a game of chance, but a game of skill. Despite that, the police were frequently disturbing the association under the guise of surprise inspection.

The Special Government Pleader said when a police party conducted a surprise raid on the association's premises on August 10 this year, it found that the members and guests were playing ‘Mangatha', a card game for stakes, which was pure gambling and 178 tokens and cards were seized. Action had been taken against 56 persons who were found playing and others.

Disposing of the petition, Mr. Justice Rajeswaran said that it should be held that permitting the members and guests to play Rummy with stakes would not attract any penal action. But, if there was any evidence of gambling in some other way, the police had the right to take action. The association should never stop the law enforcing authority from doing its duty.