Legislature competent to ban online gambling, Karnataka government told HC – The New Indian Express

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Through Express news service

BENGALURU: The state government vigorously defended the Karnataka Police Act (Amendment) on Tuesday banning and criminalizing online gambling, including games of skill, saying the change is within the legislative competence of the legislature of State.

Advocate General Prabhuling K Navadagi argued before Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Judge Krishna S Dixit’s bench that whether a game is a “game of skill” or a “game of choice” is a pure question of fact and can only be determined after examining the nature of the game.

He argued that the petitioners failed to disclose sufficient facts to determine the nature of their gambling. The state does not admit that the petitioners’ games are “games of skill”. Online games are different from physical / offline games and are a class in themselves. They require the intervention of a third party for their operation. In addition, online games are accessible to an individual anytime and any day, he argued.

The court heard a series of petitions challenging the state government’s ban on online gambling. The petitioners asserted that the Karnataka legislature does not have the legislative competence under the Constitution to pass the amendment.

The state government argued that the motions in brief were without merit and deserved to be dismissed and that the petitioners did not have standing to apply to the court against the amendment. The State government alleged that the applicants did not provide any details as to the nature of the activities they carried on. They voluntarily remain silent on the nature of the games and activities administered on their platform.

The rest of the hearing was adjourned until November 30.


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