Bombay HC Overrules FIR against Rummy Club

In a recent order, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court rehashed the legal stance that playing rummy in clubs is not illegal.

A division bench consisting of Justices MG Giratkar and Prasanna Varale noted that the game of rummy is a game of skill, and not to be classified as gambling. Hence it is not an offense if the game is played in a registered recreational club.

The police had stated that Kedia and 27 others were taking part in gambling at the Shivleela Sporting and Recreational Club at Amravati and subsequently charged all the accused under certain sections of the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887.

The bench rejected the assertions made by the police that gambling activities were being carried out in the club as the name of the game that was offered at the club was not stated in the FIR. Additionally, for the charge to be made out, evidence would have to be provided with regards to gambling. In other words, it would have to be proven that a game of chance was being played for stakes.

While allowing the FIR to be quashed, the court also added that although the club recorded all activities via CCTV, the police did not examine the footage to check what games were actually being played within the recreational club.

This is not the first occasion where clubs offering poker in India have been halted by local authorities. Police have interrupted the operation of a few clubs in the state of Gujarat over the last few months.