TN Gaming Ban: Chemistry Professor, IPS Officer, Psychiatrist with Justice Chandru to recommend a strong law

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said the newly constituted committee headed by Justice (Retd) Chandru will submit its report in two weeks. In the light of the urgency of the matter, the government will immediately bring in an ordinance upon submission of the report by the committee. The Chief Minister said it will be a “strong law” (ordinance) against online rummy “that will serve as an example” for other states.

The members of the committee include a technical expert from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M), Sankararaman, Lakshmi Vijayakumar, psychiatrist and founder of Sneha, an NGO involved in prevention of suicide, and ADGP Vinit Dev Wankhede.

The decision to form the panel was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister MK Stalin on Friday morning following a spate of suicides across the State by victims who lost money to online gambling.

In the statement, the CM lambasted the former AIADMK government for passing a badly drafted legislation without enough proof and reasons. The law enacted by AIADMK government was struck down last year. “The Government moved an appeal against the High Court order on November 13, 2021 before the Supreme Court which is yet to be heard. Moreover, similar laws drafted in Kerala and Karnataka have also been struck down by High Courts,” Stalin said.

The committee will look into the financial losses incurred while playing the game, suicidal tendencies of people who lose money, analyse the ill-effects of online rummy through data, and the impact of the advertisements on people to play the game.

Earlier this month, the Tamil Nadu government announced that it will form a special investigation team to inquire into the death by suicide of persons who were caught in a debt trap by online gambling. A Superintendent of Police from the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) would lead the SIT.

Tamil Nadu DGP C. Sylendra Babu recently warned the public that playing online rummy could lead to debt and suicide. The top cop in an awareness video said the number of people losing money and jewellery due to online gaming has increased in the last few months.