CHENNAI: The state cabinet has decided to re-adopt the online gambling bill and send it for the Governor's assent again, state law minister S Regupathy said on Thursday.
Emerging out of the state cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister M K Stalin at the state secretariat on Thursday evening, state law minister S Regupathy told media persons that it has been decided in the cabinet meet chaired by the CM to re-adopt the Bill in the State Assembly and sent it to the governor for assent again.
Declaring that the governor returned the bill on the premise that the state government does not have the legislative competence to enact the Bill, Regupathy said, "Everyone knows that the Tamil Nadu government has the competence. The governor had given his assent to the related ordinance earlier too. Also, the Madras High Court, when it struck down a similar legislation enacted by the previous AIADMK regime, had ordered that there was no bar on enacting a fresh legislation after addressing the flaws in the legislation with necessary data. The court has upheld the legislative competence of the government."
Reasoning that the said legislation was enacted based entry 1 (public order), entry 6 (public health) and entry 33 (sports entertainment and amusement) entry 34 (betting and gambling) of the Constitution, the minister said that the governor has factored in only entry 33 and argued that it cannot be banned as it is a game of skill, which is unacceptable. "We have clarified the difference between online and offline games. Legislation has been enacted for (banning) online gambling. In the instant case, a programmer sets up a program and they can change any card, " the minister added.
Who's the Guv? R N Ravi or Annamalai?
Asked if they would move the court on the issue, the law minister said, "We need not go to the court. The court has already upheld the authority of the legislature to enact the legislation. The legislation is not a hogwash. We enacted legislation to protect the people."
Noting that a dozen persons have died in the state in the interim four months due to online gambling, the minister said that they (government) would show that they have the authority to enact the legislation.
On state BJP president K Annamalai's charge that the State did not answer the queries raised by the governor, a visibly unhappy Regupathy said, "Who is the governor? Annamalai or R N Ravi? Tell me.
How does Annamalai know what questions the governor had raised? Did the Governor tell Annamalai?
Is the Governor discussing the secrets with Annamalai at Raj Bhavan?"
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