Delhi HC lists NGO’s PIL against online gaming rules, matter to be heard on July 13

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Following up to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Noida-based NGO challenging the constitutional and legislative validity of the Information Technology Amendment Rules, 2023 court have assigned a hearing date.

Hearing on the matter is to be held on 13 July by a division bench consisting of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula. The bench also requested assistance from Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma.

As reported by Live Law, the plea was initially filed by Social Organization for Creating Humanity (SOCH), a Noida-based NGO, through Advocate Sakshi Tikmany and will be represented by Advocate Akshat Gupta. Further developments are yet to be noted.

As previously covered, SOCH, in its PIL, stated that the new rules states by the union government are outside its legislative jurisdiction as gambling and betting are a matter of state government under Entry 34 of List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India.

The NGO argued that the having two different set of rules will only create even more confusion. It further said that monitoring the gaming sector cannot be outsourced to private bodies.

MeitY announced the new rules back in April as a solution to regulate the rapidly growing gaming sector. The rules state that games that have any form of wagering will not be allowed. This sparked a huge debate on what games consists of wagering.

While the industry asked for a clarification in this regard, the government insisted that the definition is clear. Apart from that, the rules also seem to be in conflict with the recent Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022.