The Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala of Gujarat High Court has observed that the present legal framework in reference to gambling should be regulated to include virtual/ online/ Cyber space gambling.
The Court directed the State Government to consider a PIL, seeking Online Gambling Regulations, as a representation, and do the needful in the “larger public interest“.
It further directed, If any website is operating in the State of Gujarat or is engaged in any gambling games, the State shall deal with the same in accordance with law, rules, regulations and the policy, as may be applicable and as per Online Gambling Regulations.
The State shall also examine whether such games result in money-laundering or violation of laws relating to foreign exchange as well.The State Government to promptly look into the aforesaid issues and take an appropriate decision in accordance with law for Online Gambling Regulations in larger public interest before it is too late.
“We direct the State of Gujarat to consider this writ application as a representation. If the online games involve gambling and if they are being played in the State of Gujarat, then it is expected of the State to deal with the same appropriately as gaming is a subject matter of List II of the Schedule VII of the Constitution of India,“ the Bench observed.
The Court was hearing a PIL contending that online gambling platforms are engaged in illegal activities, but remain unchecked owing to deficiencies in the Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887.
The Petitioner also expressed concern over Internet gambling’s “readily accessibility” to children, and urged the Court to pass appropriate directions in lieu of Online Gambling Regulations.
Though the Bench noted that it is not permissible for the Courts to direct the State Government to enact a particular type of legislation, it is said that the Courts can always draw the attention of the State Government to all the aforesaid facts so that the State Government can look into the matter at the earliest and do the needful in accordance with law.
Read the Order here: