TN online gaming ban ordinance set to lapse today, Governor yet to assent the bill

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The Tamil Nadu online gaming ban ordinance assented by governor in October is set to lapse today.

Under the Indian Constitution, an ordinance is a special kind of executive decision (issued by a Governor or President on the advice of the State or Central Government respectively) that operates as a law. Although law­making power usually lies with the legislative branch of the government, the executive is given the power to issue ordinances in exceptional situations, with the ordinances remaining in force for a limited period of time.

The ordinances must be replaced by legislature approved law in 6 weeks from legislature convening a session. In the present case, the assembly met on 17th of last month and 6 weeks time limit is to end today making the ordinance invalid.

While so, the Governor has so far not assented to the bill passed by assembly to replace the ordinance. The governor has raised queries on doctrine of proportionality considering a similar law was quashed by the Madras High Court.

Though the ordinance got the Governor’s assent on October 1, it has not come into force as yet, because the government has not notified the date of its implementation. This was cited by the government before the Madras High Court early this month in a case relating to the constitutional validity of the ordinance filed by skill gaming body AIGF and gaming companies. As a result, all the writ petitions against the ordinance were treated as dismissed.

On Friday, Law Minister S. Regupathy after meeting the Governor told the media that the Governor had raised questions over various provisions. The government received the Raj Bhavan’s communication on Thursday, and the Law Department gave its reply in 24 hours, he added.

The minister said not all online games are banned considering doctrine of proportionality and only online gambling is banned.

As per reports, though the work on framing of rules began, the government chose to have the ordinance replaced first with a legislature approved law in view of the Assembly’s sittings in October.