If the legislation was formed after public hearing, why should Governor act like umpire? : Justice Chandru

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During an interview with The News Minute, Justice K. Chandru was one of the people who recommended the online gaming ban bill. Chandru talks about the adverse effects of online gaming and how some ban is needed for these online games.

He also spoke about the controversies surrounding the Governor’s returning the bill after four months. On being asked about the move, Chandru says that while the Governor promulgated the emergency ordinance, he did not give his assent for the bill.

The ordinance was an administrative law that could be replaced by legislative law. The ordinance and bill were identical, so why did the Governor not give his assent? Chandru asked. The Governor held on to the bill for four months; during that time, he sought legal advice and raised queries but did not do this for the ordinance.

The online gaming ban bill was among one the 20 that were sent to the Governor for his assent. According to what Chandru believes, Punjab, Kerala, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are trying to delay the bill approved by the state government.

Chandru says Ravi met with the online gaming companies’ representatives, which does not seem proper as he was free to consult the attorney general of India. The online gaming companies even objected to the submission by the Committee to which the government opened the public opinion on the matter.

On being asked how the Committee reached its conclusion, Chandru said it was not a one-man job; the Committee had four experts that divided the issue on the subject and submitted their opinion.

Chandru says that in a physical rummy game, you play with a natural person, but in online rummy, you play with a machine where there is no chance of knowing when you’ll win or lose, as it is designed by someone else.

The company’s algorithm lures players with initial wins, but people start losing. Regulation here means nothing, according to Chandru, as people can still play and lose.

Due to many complaints of suicides occurring, the government prioritizes saving people’s lives, and for that, the government can only ban and not regulate online gaming. These companies refuse any independent inquiry, and the people who have lost from online gaming are always similar; they lure people with wins at first, and then the person keeps losing, said Chandru.

“If the legislation was formed after a public hearing, why should the Governor act like an umpire?” asked Chandru, as the ultimate decision will lie with Supreme Court. A company cannot carry commit an offense in the name of carrying out trade.

On asking what the former judge was hinting at the Governor taking four months and still not giving his consent, Chandru claimed that the earning of these companies goes to millions, and they have the power to influence people as if their games get banned they will lose money.

Chandru believes that the Governor himself is playing a political gamble while people are losing their lives to online rummy.