Time is running out for the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Ordinance, with Governor R. N. Ravi yet to give his assent to the related legislation, which was adopted by the Assembly last month.
The ordinance will lapse on Sunday if the Governor does not give his assent to the Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill by then, according to an official. A message sent to the Governor’s Principal Secretary, Anandrao V. Patil, seeking information on the latest position, has not evoked any reply.
The possibility of the ordinance lapsing arises because of a stipulation in Article 213 (2) (a) of the Constitution.
Under it, an ordinance “shall cease to operate at the expiration of six weeks from the reassembly of the Legislature”. In this case, the Assembly’s fourth session began on October 17. The official explains that the period of six weeks is calculated from the date in question and this is why the ordinance will lapse on Sunday in the absence of the Governor’s approval. However, the Bill will become an Act from the date on which the Governor gives his approval.
Though the ordinance got the Governor’s assent on October 1, it has not come into force as yet, because the government has not notified the date of its implementation. This was cited by the government before the Madras High Court early this month in a case relating to the constitutional validity of the ordinance. Eventually, all the writ petitions against the legislation were treated as dismissed.
The official adds that though the work on framing of rules began, the government chose to have the ordinance replaced first with a Bill in view of the Assembly’s sittings in October.
On Friday, Law Minister S. Regupathy told the media that the Governor had raised questions over various provisions. The government received the Raj Bhavan’s communication on Thursday, and the Law Department gave its reply in 24 hours, he added.