Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

Rummy A Game Of Skill: Kerala High Court Lifts Ban On Online Rummy, Finds It Unconstitutional

Hannah M Varghese
27 Sep 2021 7:27 AM GMT
Rummy A Game Of Skill: Kerala High Court Lifts Ban On Online Rummy, Finds It Unconstitutional
x

The Kerala High Court on Monday quashed an amendment to a government notification issued under Section 14A of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960 banning online rummy in the State, bringing huge relief to the online skill-gaming industry.Justice TR Ravi noted that the notification was arbitrary and violative of the right to trade and commerce guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution and...

The Kerala High Court on Monday quashed an amendment to a government notification issued under Section 14A of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960 banning online rummy in the State, bringing huge relief to the online skill-gaming industry.

Justice TR Ravi noted that the notification was arbitrary and violative of the right to trade and commerce guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution and the right to equality guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution.

Four online rummy companies had approached the Court challenging the impugned notification earlier this year. The Court has been hearing the arguments in the matter for more than two months.

This comes after the State issued a notification dated 23rd February 2021 clarifying that online rummy does not enjoy exemption from the general prohibition of gaming and gambling granted under Section 14A of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960 when played for stakes.

Senior Advocates Mukul Rohatgi, S Sreekumar, Joseph Kodianthara and Advocates Santhosh Mathew and Suhaan Mukherji appearing on behalf of four online rummy companies had argued that the state government could not ban rummy, which was a game of skill through a mere notification under Section 14A of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960, and that the ban on online rummy while allowing physical rummy was arbitrary in nature.

The petitioners relied on the judgments of the Supreme Court in State of Andhra Pradesh v K Satyanarayana and Ors and KR Lakshmanan v. State of Tamil Nadu and Ors. where it was held that rummy is primarily a game of skill.

They further contended that the ban on online rummy played for stakes, which was a recognized game involving skill goes against various Supreme Court and High Court rulings.

It was also argued that the notification, which gives the state government power to clarify the list of skill-based games, instead of bans online rummy, thereby violating their right to trade and commerce guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution.

Advocate N. Manoj Kumar on the other hand that playing online rummy for stakes was causing various social problems, including suicides and loss of hard-earned savings.

He further stated that a division bench of the High Court had ruled in K Ramchandran v. The Circle Inspector of Police that rummy played for stakes would amount to gambling and be illegal.

He further brought to the attention of the court that a review petition filed by three online rummy companies against the order was also rejected by an order of the division bench of the High Court.

The decision of the Court is the second to support the online real money gaming industry after it received a similar order from the Madras High Court last month that struck down a law passed by the Tamil Nadu government banning all kinds of online games, including skill-based games like poker and rummy, played for stakes.

Case Title: Gamescraft Pvt. Ltd. Technologies v. State of Kerala & connected matters

Click Here To Read The Order



Next Story