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Tamil Nadu to re-enact bill banning online rummy, send to Governor for assent

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The ongoing dispute between the DMK government and the Governor has taken a new turn as the Tamil Nadu cabinet has decided to reintroduce the bill in the Assembly, pass and send it to Governor RN Ravi for his assent.

The Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Gaming Bill, 2022, enacted by the Assembly on October 19, 2022, was discussed in the cabinet meeting, led by Chief Minister MK Stalin, who decided to re-enact the same law.

“The Cabinet decided to place the bill before the Assembly once again to be approved and sent back to the Governor,” said the law minister S Regupathy after the meeting, as quoted by Deccan Herald.

On Wednesday, March 8, the Governor returned the bill banning online gaming in the state, claiming that the state had no “legislative competence” to draft a bill over the issue. Regupathy responded to the claims, saying that the Madras High Court had made it clear already that the Assembly has the authority to pass such a bill.

The law minister also said that if the Assembly decides to adopt the same bill again and send it to the Governor, he will have to give his assent as per Article 200 of the Constitution (powers of the governor regarding assent). He also pointed out how the Governor himself had promulgated the Ordinance banning online gaming and gambling back in September 2022 and how he could question the state’s authority in such a case.

Anbumani Ramadoss, the president of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), criticized the Governor for returning the Bill. He added that it was insulting to the Tamil Nadu Assembly for the Governor to claim that the State Legislature lacked the legislative authority to adopt such a law.

Ramadoss has been vocal on the issue of suicides due to online rummy addiction. Since the time the ordinance has elapsed, 18 people have taken their own lives due to online rummy addiction, claimed Ramadoss.

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