Online gambling: Tamil Nadu to pass again bill rejected by Governor
“The governor cannot deny assent to the bill when it is sent for the second time. The governor said the state assembly has no legislative competence to enact such legislation.
Published: 10th March 2023 11:07 AM | Last Updated: 10th March 2023 11:09 AM | A+A A-
CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu cabinet, in a meeting held under Chief Minister MK Stalin, on Thursday decided to reintroduce and pass the bill to ban online gambling in the assembly since the “House is competent enough to enact such legislation as per the Constitution.” The bill will be reintroduced in the ensuing budget session and will be sent to the governor.
“The governor cannot deny assent to the bill when it is sent for the second time. The governor said the state assembly has no legislative competence to enact such legislation. But as per Madras HC orders, the assembly has the powers,” law minister S Reguphathy told reporters at the secretariat after the meeting.
Asked whether the same bill will be reintroduced in the assembly, the minister said, “During the discussions (in the assembly), if some new views are expressed, they will be added. But this will be decided after the discussion.”
Asked about the points raised by the governor, the minister said the governor had repeated certain views quoting laws but the state had already clarified them. Questioned what if the governor delays assent to the bill, the minister said, “Let us face that when the governor does that.”
The minister said over the past four months, 12 people had ended their lives after the bill was sent for governor’s assent. The law minister also ruled out the possibility of the state government moving court against the governor’s decision.
‘State already explained differences between online and offline games’
“There is no need for that since the court had already said the state assembly is competent enough to enact such legislation. So, after passing the bill again we will send it to the governor pointing out that the government has enacted the law under entry 34 of the state list and not under entry 33. When the bill is sent for the second time, the governor cannot reject it,” he said.
The minister said that under state list, the following entries are connected to online rummy --- entry 1 - public order; entry 6 - public health, entry 33 - sports, entertainments and amusements; entry 34 - betting and gaming. “The governor had said entry 33 allows skilled games and denied his assent to the bill. This is unacceptable as the state has already explained the differences between online games and offline games.
The present legislation was not enacted for banning skilled games but for online games that give room for manipulation. Hence, online rummy has to be banned. But ignoring all these explanations, the governor has returned the bill,” Regupathy said. “When the governor raised some queries regarding the bill, I met the governor along with law and home secretaries and clarified his doubts. But he has returned the bill on March 6 questioning legislative competence.”
The minister also pointed out that the present governor had given his assent to the ordinance to ban online rummy and his predecessor had given his assent to the legislation enacted by the AIADMK government to ban it. “When that legislation was challenged, the Madras High Court had pointed out some shortcomings and said there is no bar on the state in enacting a fresh legislation by removing those shortcomings. So, the HC had said the TN assembly is competent to enact such legislation.
The government had also formed a committee headed by retired Judge K Chandru and consulted all stakeholders including general public and those conducting online games. Only after 95% people supported the law, it was passed by the assembly,” the minister said. “The state has already clarified this to the union telecom ministry.
The legislation has been enacted for protecting people and is not an eyewash,” he said. On BJP state president K Annamalai’s charge that the state has not given sufficient clarifications to the issues raised by the governor, the minister said, “We have given all clarifications. Is Annamalai the governor or RN Ravi? How can Annamalai know if the state gave sufficient clarifications? Does it mean that the governor is discussing official secrets with Annamalai?”
Guvs appointed by BJP never listen to other says Stalin
Chennai: Chief Minister MK Stalin alleged the governors, appointed by the BJP government at the centre, always express their views but never listen to others. He said this in a Q&A video titled ‘Ungalil Oruvan Pathilgal’ (Replies of one among you) while replying to a question on his opinion about the recent observation of the Constitution bench of the SC that the governors are not supposed to venture into the political arena.
The Chief Minister’s statement in the video, released on Thursday, comes a day after Governor RN Ravi returned the bill to ban online gambling despite the state government clarifying his earlier doubts on it. Referring to the arrest of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Stalin charged the BJP-led union government saying, “This is an example of BJP threatening opposition parties not indirectly but openly.
They are using the investigation agencies at their disposal for political purposes.” He added the debt of the union government was Rs 54 lakh crore in 2014 when the BJP came to power and now it is Rs 147 lakh crore. “ That is a three-fold increase. This is the development achieved by the BJP,” he underlined.
BJP guvs express views but don’t listen: Stalin
Chief Minister MK Stalin in a Q&A video said the governors, appointed by the BJP government at the centre, express their views but don’t listen to what others say