The Tamil Nadu government’s amendment of the Gaming Act was hit down by the Madras High Court on Tuesday, August 3. The amendment had provided the government to prevent online games such as poker and rummy with stakes.
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthil Kumar Ramamoorthy recognised that such a limitation will be unconstitutional and will be a violation of Article 19(1) (g) of the Constitution of India (right to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business).
The court noted that approving the legislation can be seen as unusual, stupid and also unnecessary and asymmetrical. Pointing all these, the court hit down the amendment as ultra vires of the constitution. Though, the court recorded that notwithstanding the bench hitting down the amendment, the state government should introduce new legislation to regulate online games.
The court passed its verdict on Tuesday allowing petitions from a slew of companies claiming the amendment by the Tamil Nadu government to ban online games. The judgement by the court was reversed on July 26.