Telangana Ordinance challenge and Gujarat Poker matter to be heard next week

The writ petitions challenging the newly implemented Telangana State Gaming Ordinance filed by online rummy websites such as Rummycircle, Ace2Three, Junglee Rummy and Classic Rummy have been deferred to 12th July.

While adjourning the matter to the following week, it is being understood that the division bench of the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana HC comprising of Justice T. Rajani and Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan have permitted rummy companies based out of the state to resume offering services outside Telangana. Offering rummy to users within the state of Telangana continues to be prohibited as per the Gaming Ordinance and no respite in this regard has been given by the court yet.

The Advocate General of Telangana, K Ramakrishna Reddy, strongly defended the constitutional validity of the gaming ordinance stating that the state government had decided to clear the ordinance in public interest and the subsequent restriction on online rummy was justified under Article 19(6) of the Constitution. Reddy further contested that the 1967 K. Satyanarayana judgment of the SC which classified rummy to be a game of skill permitted the police to take necessary action in case profit or gain was involved in the rummy clubs.

Reddy is expected to resume voicing his arguments on July 12th against granting any form of interim relief to the rummy websites. The HC is expected to make the final decision on whether to stay the functioning of the Gaming Ordinance after hearing the final submissions of the Advocate General.

Elsewhere, the civil petitions filed in the Gujarat HC by Rollers Training Institute, Dominance Games, KN Suresh and others, challenging the police’s stance that poker is a game of chance, have now been deferred to 11th July. A single judge bench of the HC comprising of Justice Rajesh Shukla is expected to attend the arguments of the petitioner clubs along with the Gujarat government next week and decide on whether to grant temporary relief allowing the poker clubs to resume operating poker rooms.The fate of poker in India now hangs in the balance.