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Madras High Court strikes down Tamil Nadu gambling ban on constitutional grounds

The judgement termed the gambling ban as excessive and disproportionate while criticising the government for not providing data to back up its arguments.  The Madras High Court on Tuesday struck down Tamil Nadu's ban on gambling on constitutional grounds. The Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021, and an ordinance having a similar effect passed shortly beforehand, were passed by the state's prior AIADMK-led government. This amendment made it illegal to participate in any form of gambling that involved stakes, and provided for a punishment of up to two years or a fine of up to Rs 10,000. The Act "is declared to be ultra vires the Constitution in its entirety and struck down as a consequence," the Madras High Court said. The petitioners in the case included online rummy platforms, poker platforms, and the All India Gaming Federation. Petitioners in this case argued that they have had this argument validated over the years by courts (see below). They further argued that the constitution's State List entry on gambling regulation only allowed states to regulate games that relied on stakes, a limitation that the Madras High Court determined the state government breached. MediaNama has reviewed a copy of the judgement that was pronounced in the Junglee Games v. State of Tamil Nadu hearing.  The judgement was pronounced by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy. "Excessive and disproportionate" The Madras High Court reasoned its striking down of the order with the following observations. "The State finds itself in the…

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