| For those enthusiasts of poker who are aware of the ongoing poker dispute in Gujarat, an unprecedented incident took place in the HC recently. A single judge bench of the Gujarat HC comprising of Justice Rajesh Shukla listened to a clutch of special civil petitions pertaining filed by AAA Gaming, Indian Poker Association and others to the legality of poker and whether the card game involved a substantial degree of skill last week.
In an astonishing and perhaps unprecedented move, Senior Counsel Mihir Thakore asked the judge to consider the representations made by two seasoned poker players, Aditya Wadhwani and Abhishek Goindi. Despite some initial unwillingness shown by Justice Shukla and objections by the state government, eventually Thakore persuaded the court to permit Goindi and Wadhwani to place their research and thoughts before the high court.
Goindi and Wadhwani then went on to show the court two basic videos regarding the element of skill involved in poker as well as the format and manner of playing it.
Last week’s hearing in the Gujarat High Court was both unique and historic in India’s legal history as experts who were neither lawyers nor party to the poker case were permitted to intervene in a constitutional court and not only offer verbal presentations but also show videos.