T.N. Law Minister hints at re-adoption of Bill against online gambling

Tamil Nadu Governor Ravi had earlier promulgated an Ordinance banning online gambling in 2022

March 09, 2023 11:38 am | Updated 05:26 pm IST - CHENNAI

Tamil Nadu Minister for Law. S. Regupathy. File

Tamil Nadu Minister for Law. S. Regupathy. File | Photo Credit: Rajarathinam RM

A day after it emerged that Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi returned a Bill banning online gambling, State Law Minister S. Regupathy indicated the Government might readopt the Bill in the Legislative Assembly, just as it had done when the anti-NEET Bill was returned last year.

If the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly adopted yet another Bill seeking to ban online games, the "Governor had to grant assent and there was no chance whatsoever for him to decline," he said on Thursday.

Citing a judgment of the Madras High Court, the Minister contended that the Legislature has the competence to adopt Bill to that effect. "When it [the legislation] was legally challenged, the court did not dismiss it on the ground that the Legislature did not have the competence but over other reasons," the Minister said.

The court had dismissed it over certain reasons but said the government could bring about fresh legislation, Mr. Regupathy said and explained: "Thereby, the court has said the legislature has the competence to bring about legislation. So, the fresh legislation was brought about in line with the court judgment."

Explained | How is India moving to regulate online gaming?

Governor Ravi had earlier promulgated an Ordinance banning online gambling last year and previously then Governor Banwarilal Purohit too had granted his assent to the legislation brought by the erstwhile AIADMK government, Mr. Regupathy pointed out.

Mr. Ravi on Wednesday returned to the State government the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, passed by the Assembly on October 19 contending that the State legislature had “no legislative competence” to frame the Bill.

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