Seven Poker Clubs To Withdraw Petitions Filed In Gujarat HC

Gujarat HC

It is being reported that the seven poker clubs who had separately filed petitions in the Gujarat High Court urging for holding the card game to be considered game of skill, have withdrawn their Special Criminal Applications from the Gujarat HC.

The petition originally initiated by KN Suresh of the Indian Poker Association (IPA), decided to take back his application, as it was argued that there is no longer any ground to move forward with a criminal application. Other clubs and the IPA contested that on procedural grounds, they could not continue with the criminal application because the ground of apprehension of harassment by local authorities stated in their petitions no longer held ground, due to a letter issued by the Ahmedabad Police Commissioner’s office back in May 2017, which suggested that poker is a card game of chance.

The clubs now argue that the only way to challenge the letter is via a fresh civil writ petition. During the withdraw of the criminal applications, the High Court has granted them freedom to file new civil petitions to argue their stance that poker in India is a game of skill.

It should be noted that KN Suresh, on22nd May, had approached the vacation benchof the Gujarat HC seeking its urgent action and an interim order directing the authorities to not interfere in the cash game. The matter was scheduled to come up for hearing on 9th June.

It is now being understood that all seven clubs will be filing a fresh civil writ petition sometime by next week in support of the classification of poker as a game of skill and further asking for the police commissioner’s letter stating that poker not be considered a card game of chance. Additionally, the clubs will also be pressing for temporary relief from the High Court until final determination of the matter.